Have you ever tried a productivity hack that sounded promising, but didn’t work for you?
You’re not alone. There are countless tips, tricks, and hacks that promise heaven only to deliver hell. Chances are that you’ve even tried some of them and gotten disappointed.
But what if the problem isn’t the hacks themselves?
What if the problem is that we’re basing our productivity on myths and misconceptions?
Today, I’m taking on the role of a myth buster.
I’m going to expose the top 6 productivity myths you need to stop believing right now. By busting these myths, you’ll be able to work smarter, not harder, and achieve your goals faster and easier.
6 Productivity Myths to Get Rid Off
Myth 1: Busyness equals productivity
Being busy is often seen as a badge of honour in our society. We believe that doing more equals more productivity. However, this is a misconception that can lead to fatigue, distraction, errors, and reduced creativity.
Productivity is not about being busy. It’s about doing the right things that help you achieve your goals. Therefore, instead of measuring your productivity by how busy you are, measure it by the results you achieve.
According to the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. This means that a few key tasks are responsible for most of your success.
So what should you do? Focus on the few tasks with the most value and leverage, and eliminate or delegate the rest. This will free you from the busy trap so you can focus on the things that matter most.
Myth 2: Multitasking is the Key to Efficiency
Multitasking is often praised as a way to get more done in less time. However, the truth is that multitasking is not possible for the human brain and can actually reduce your productivity and quality of work.
When you multitask, your brain is constantly switching between tasks. This requires a lot of mental energy and can lead to cognitive overload. As a result, you may make more mistakes, have difficulty concentrating, and take longer to complete tasks.
Deep work, the opposite of multitasking, will lead to better results. It involves focusing on one task at a time and giving it your full attention. When you do deep work, you can enter a state of flow where you are completely immersed in the task at hand. This is when you are most productive and creative.
Myth 3: Motivation leads to action.
Another common productivity myth is that you need to feel motivated before starting on a task. You may think that if you wait for the right mood, inspiration, or energy level, you will be able to perform better and faster. However, this is a misconception that can actually lead to procrastination and wasted time.
The reality is that motivation is not a cause but an effect of action. This means that the more you work on something, the more motivated you will feel to continue working on it. This is because action increases your confidence, interest, and satisfaction in the task.
So, how do you get motivated to work on your tasks? Not by waiting for motivation to strike, but by starting with small and easy steps that will help you build momentum and motivation
Myth 4: You need a fixed schedule to be organised.
Many people believe having a fixed schedule is the key to being organised. They think that following a rigid routine and sticking to it no matter what will help them stay on track and get things done. However, this is a productivity myth that can make you inflexible and stressed. The reality is that having a flexible schedule is the key to being organised.
A flexible schedule allows you to adapt to changing circumstances, preferences, and opportunities. It also gives you a sense of autonomy and empowerment, which can boost your motivation and well-being.
How do you use this? When planning, leave some room for adjustments and improvisations. Plan out your tasks and deadlines, but also review and revise them daily or weekly based on your progress and feedback. Block out time for your tasks, but allow some buffer time for unexpected events or emergencies.
Myth 5: Consistency is the key to productivity
You’ve probably heard that consistency is the key to productivity. Perhaps you already think that working on your goals daily will make you an overnight success. Sorry, it’s not true!
When it comes to productivity, intensity is as important as consistency. A study by the University of Chicago found that working in short but focused bursts of time can lead to higher performance and creativity than working in long but distracted periods. This is because working in intense sprints allows you to enter a state of flow, where you are fully immersed and engaged in your task.
So, how do you work with intensity? Not by forcing yourself to work on your goals daily for a fixed amount of time, but by working on them when you are most alert and energised, and for as long as you can maintain your focus and interest.
Myth 6: You need to eliminate all distractions to focus.
One last productivity myth to bust is that a distraction-free environment is essential for focusing on their tasks. However, this is not always the case. A study by the University of Illinois showed that being exposed to some moderate level of distraction can enhance your focus and creativity by preventing habituation and boredom.
While some distractions, such as notifications from your phone or social media, can be very disruptive, others, like listening to music or conversing with someone, can actually be helpful. Therefore, instead of eliminating all distractions, you should choose the type and amount of distraction that works best for you and your task.
For example, if you are working on a creative task that requires divergent thinking, you can listen to some music that matches your mood or topic. If you are working on an analytical task that requires convergent thinking, work in a quiet environment or use noise-cancelling headphones.
Say Goodbye to the Myths, Welcome to Productivity
Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step towards higher productivity levels by learning the truth behind the top 6 productivity myths holding you back from achieving your goals.
But learning is not enough. You need to take action. If you’re used to multitasking, try deep work and see how it affects your productivity and quality of work. If you’re used to having a fixed schedule, try to have some flexibility and see how it affects your motivation and well-being. Just take a step. You might be surprised by what you discover.