We’re all trying to get the most done in the least amount of time, but what if we’re approaching our work with the wrong methods? Check out these 6 myths of productivity and reflect on whether you’re guilty of following them. Then, try the tips provided to actually get you moving in the right direction!
MYTH #1: Hard Work Can’t Be Fun
Do you unconsciously believe that if it’s fun, then you’re not working hard enough?
Studies show that the reverse is actually true: the more you enjoy what you’re doing, the better you will perform! Jon Acuff reports in his book Finish that having fun while you work increases performance success by 46%.
Jon says, “Make it fun if you want it done.”
MYTH #2: Busy = Productive
Are you trying (and failing) to do #allthethings?
In the same way that a train can run the fastest only when it stays on the tracks, you can achieve more when you set (and maintain) healthy boundaries. Try embracing your limited time and energy – and harnessing it in the most productive direction.
The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say ‘No’ to almost everything. ― Warren Buffett
MYTH #3: Rewards Come at the End
Progress toward big goals is usually slower than we want, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t moving forward. Be sure to notice the small achievements along the way and enjoy some rewards during the process.
Pause to celebrate wins so that you (and your team) stay motivated and get a confidence boost to make it to the end.
MYTH #4: Taking Breaks Disrupts Concentration
How often do you compel yourself to stay at your desk, staring at your computer, until you’ve finished working?
Consider this: a 2011 study by the American Cancer Society finds that how much time you spend sitting can affect your risk of premature death. In response, Human Kinetics – a group dedicated to helping humans lead healthier lives – suggests that moving our bodies creates the optimal environment for healthy brains.
So the next time you are stuck on a problem, stop staring it and start moving! Go for a brisk walk, do some jumping jacks, or take a dance break. Physical activity will increase brain function and help kickstart your productivity.
MYTH #5: Multi-tasking Accomplishes More
Humans are easily distractable, and we’ve been tricked into believing that working on multiple tasks at once is the best way to get the most work done. But a 2012 article from Inc. Magazine shares that multitasking makes us stupid.
Instead, try the Pomodoro Technique: use a timer to break down work into intervals, about 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Setting short timers boosts concentration and productivity by forcing you to focus on one task at a time.
MYTH #6: I’ll Get More Done If I Do It Alone
Most of us are scared to speak our goals out loud until we’re already a success; as a result, we essentially believe we’ll get there faster if we do it on our own.
Unfortunately, when we work alone, we are less likely to complete the goals we set.
Instead, simply telling someone what you are working on will increase the likelihood of accomplishment. The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to, then you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.
With these statistics, it’s worth it to say it out loud. Name your goal, then tell someone about it.
WHAT TIP WILL YOU TRY?
Flip your productivity script on its head by implementing one of these practices today.
- Add some fun
- Say “no” more
- Celebrate a win
- Take a dance break
- Set a timer
- Tell someone