Productivity advice is a hugely popular topic – and for good reason: people crave learning about new ways to boost their productivity. We’re an achievement-obsessed society, and the internet is inundated with tips to make you even more conscientious about being productive. But with all these tips, there’s something else: there are many myths about productivity that keep you from growing.
The problem with reading other people’s opinions is that those aren’t always applicable to every person. What works for me may not work for you. And why would it? It’s unrealistic to assume everyone will accomplish tasks by some proven method or technique. We don’t all do the same type of work, so how would we get work done the same way?
The only true secret to productivity is finding out what works for you.
Myths about productivity that keep you from growing
- You Have to be Awake Every Morning Before 5 AM
The “early bird gets the worm” ideology enjoys serious popularity when it comes to productivity advice. We’re always hearing how the most successful minds wake up before the sun every morning, and how it sets the tone for the rest of the day.
This idea does come with some scientific merit. Biologist Christopher Randler published a study concluding that early risers are, indeed, more productive. As the findings become more widespread, Randler spoke on how early risers tended to have a more motivated mindset, among other characteristics, and argued that the actual act of waking up early doesn’t make one person more productive than the other.
It’s important to know when you’re most productive throughout the day. Some people may experience a boost in creativity at night and find they get a lot accomplished between 7-11 pm. This person would not be able to then wake up by 4:30 am. Proper sleep is imperative for everyone to have a functioning and motivated mindset. Find what works for you and stick to it.
- Accepting Procrastination as a Natural Part of the Work Process
It’s inevitable, yes, but procrastinating keeps you from getting things done on time. We view procrastinating as an issue with starting a certain task. The truth, however, is that there’s a bigger problem that needs to be addressed. Fear of failure, lack of direction, or miscommunication prevents an effort to begin a task. Identifying the true reason why you’re procrastinating allows you to handle the situation and move forward to focus on accomplishing the task.
- Create To-Do Lists and Stick to Them
Another one of the myths about productivity has everything to do with making lists. There’s nothing wrong with creating a to-do list; for many it’s an essential part of staying organized. Lists become problematic when it starts to overwhelm. The focus shifts to all of the things that need to get done, rather than prioritizing when you can get something done.
If you’re someone who does get overwhelmed with seeing everything you need to get done, try to give yourself specific and attainable deadlines. This will help concentrate on accomplishing tasks one at a time.
- Thriving Under Pressure
Time can most definitely be a motivator when it comes to kicking it into high gear to finish a project. Too much stress inhibits creativity and, in turn, productivity. Being in a constant state of stress will also lock you out from looking at things with a fresh perspective and coming up with new ideas. Not only that, but the work you produce will be mediocre.
Time management is a skill, and one that you need to learn how to make it best work for you. Meeting deadlines and producing well-done work is a great feeling, and motivates you to keep working.
- You Have to Make Yourself Power Through
Like procrastination, there will come times when you just seem to lack the effort to start or finish something. The common thought is to put your mind in grind mode and not stop until you’re done. The problem with this is the chance of figuratively hitting a brick wall and ending up worse than when you started.
Knowing when to allow yourself the ability to step away and recharge will help you to grow and become more productive.
- Multi-Tasking Will Help Getting the Most Done
Everyone wants to get the most work done in the least amount of time. People, unfortunately, equate multi-tasking with productivity, and the result is the opposite of what they wanted to achieve.
We simply cannot give 100% of our attention to multiple tasks at one time. This goes back to prioritization and time management to maximize your efforts.
- One Technique Will Make You More Productive
We’ve all seen the click bait: “Adding this one step to your morning routine will make you more productive!” But there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to becoming more productive. Not everyone is going to benefit from creating weekly to-do lists, waking up an hour earlier each morning, or forcing themselves to finish writing that article before they can get up from their desk.
So don’t be trapped by these myths about productivity! What’s going to make you most productive is finding out what works for you, and avoiding things that work against you. Once you realize what those things are, you’ll grow personally and professionally, and enjoy a more productive life.