All along you thought you were doing it right. You were able to convince yourself that you’ve done everything in your power to become productive (sometimes even at the expense of your health), and yet things aren’t exactly unfolding the way you pictured it in your head. There’s nothing more frustrating than heeding the advice of productivity gurus only to get disappointed with the results.
Not only is it disappointing, it also makes you question your skills, your ability and your worth. More often, people who believe they are being productive by doing more than their fair share of workload end up with substandard results. If you’ve been a victim of poor productivity then it’s probably because you believed in several “productivity myths”. This article will debunk all of the productivity myths that are keeping you from reaching your highest potential.
So before you tender that resignation because you can no longer stand your inadequacies, read on. This blog will change your mind about leaving. It may even help you land a promotion.
Productivity Myth 1: When you work overtime, all the time.
Although it may be tempting to work an extra two to three hours more, most of the time it’s not going to do you and your work any good. Trust us. Even though your body is telling you to push more and work harder, your mind will get worn out. And your mind is what matters the most because if your input is bad inevitably the output will be a disaster. Common sense will tell you that the more time you spend working the more tasks get done. While this may be true, common sense also forgot to tell you that by this point, your brain is already fried and so your work, albeit complete, lacks in sufficiency. Working overtime defeats the purpose of getting good results. The best solution is to prioritize what tasks need to be completed first and work on it as hard and as fast as you can. And when you feel that you’re already tired and beat up, just stop and continue with it the next day. Don’t overwork yourself.
Productivity Myth 2: Working under pressure works best for you.
A little pressure does help with getting things done but if you make a habit out of working under pressure it may not reward you in the long run. While this may seem like an effective strategy that can give you a host of short-term benefits the long haul isn’t going to be as bright as you wished it would be. This sick cycle will have a negative effect on both your work and your health. Little by little your stress will build up and this can be toxic to your life in general.
Productivity Myth 3: One can always get away with Multitasking.
Again, this theory proves to be nothing but a productivity myth. Instead of pushing you towards productivity, it is in point of fact leading you to a chaotic and not to mention disastrous outcome. The concept of multitasking is to do tasks simultaneously in the hopes of getting a lot of things done at one time. But quantity without quality equates to poor results and this is what multitasking does to your work. Have you every wondered why your boss has a frown etched on his face every time you submit a stack of reports? It is because he is seeing more of quantity work instead of quality work.
What we fail to notice with this practice is it splits our attention and focus; which means only half the effort is allocated for each task. If you want to be productive avoid multitasking at all costs especially for reports that are of high importance.
Productivity Myth 4: Just because you claim to be busy doesn’t always mean you’re being productive.
Being busy doesn’t always equate to being productive. I see a lot of corporate workers who make me think they’re busy and yet at the end of the day when you sum up their work you could say it didn’t really amount to anything. When you busy yourself with unimportant tasks that are too time-consuming just to give people the impression that you’re busy productivity will never be on your side. Instead of focusing on things that are unimportant, focus on the tasks that matter the most.
Productivity Myth 5: You’re not allowed to go on breaks because it’s a waste of time.
People, make that busy people, aren’t huge on breaks because they think it’s a waste of time. Why spend 10 minutes outside looking at clear skies when you could be burying your nose on your reports? That ten minutes wasted on daydreaming could have been used to write down a one-page report. If this is how you think then you’re one of the many victims who fell for this productivity myth. There is a reason why companies allow you to have breaks during your working hours because breaks help relieve stress. It invigorates and refreshes your mind from a hectic and jam-packed day. Taking breaks also gives you time to think for better ideas and novel input resulting more efficiency at work.
Productivity Myth 6: You’re productive only when you’re working in the office.
While this myth may very well apply to workers centuries ago, it no longer applies now that we’re actually living the in the digital age. With the inception of laptops, iPhones, software, computers, etc. the things you can do in your office can be done elsewhere as long as you have the means. And sometimes when we choose certain places to work we become more productive especially in places where there aren’t any distractions. Any place free from distractions or a place that makes you relax is good enough for you to work in. The idea that you are only productive within the confines of an office is not true.
Productivity Myth 7: You are only productive once your desk is clear from clutter.
They say having a clean and de-cluttered workspace helps keep your thoughts organized. The state of your workspace is a determinant of the outcome of your work. This is not entirely true. In fact a lot of people I know own messy workspaces yet produce more quality work than those with bare spaces. Each person has its’ individual preferences and sometimes, although odd, a messy space fuels creativity. If you like your space neat and tidy, clean it before you start with work. But if you are comfortable with the mess, leave it as it is.
These myths will help you feel better and it will give you hope that the reason why you’re messing up is because you are adapting the wrong productivity practices.