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May
07

3 Productivity Myths Revealed and Explained

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Do you want to boost your productivity? Do you find yourself not being as productive as you want to be? Well, most of what you’ve heard about productivity – all the ‘common sense’ – is utterly false. Here are 3 of the biggest myths floating around about getting more done.

Getting Stressed is NOT Productive!

Myth – Longer Hours Means Better Productivity

What do you do when you really need to get some work cranked out? You make a strong pot of coffee and burn the midnight oil. And you end up burning yourself out in the process.

Studies have shown over and over again that longer hours kill productivity. Any hours that you work over 40 a week are pretty much wasted. Staying up late after your usual working time doesn’t get the job done.

The reason is that there are only so many hours you can maintain focus. When your focus goes, it takes you much longer to get the same amount of work done. You slow down, get distracted more and make mistakes.

In fact, your judgment goes totally. Studies have shown that you make terrible decisions when you’re tired that you wouldn’t have made when you were bright and perky that same morning.

If you need more hours than you’ve got, don’t push it into the late evening hours. Carve out a few weekend hours instead. You’ll be fresh and focused.

Myth – Multitasking Gets More Done

Here’s another way to handle a time crunch – multi-task! If you can respond to emails while attending a webinar and vacuuming the floor all at the same time, you’re like a 4-armed productivity machine!

Except that there’s only one problem. You’re doing six tasks at once but not one of them is getting your full attention. And that’s what every task you do needs.

It’s the same as above – multitasking makes each task take longer and because only a portion of your brain is attending to it, you make stupid mistakes and bad decisions. In the long run, this kills your productivity.

Instead, you should do only one thing at a time and give it all of your concentration. Resist the urge to start another task while a program is loading or you’re chatting with someone on Skype.

Myth – Stay on Task to Stay Focused

Are you ever afraid to take a break because you won’t be able to get back into your work? Here’s a secret that most people don’t realize – your breaks are more important than your work time. They give you the fuel you need to keep going.

You should break your day up with lots of small breaks. When you feel your productivity and concentration starting to wane, take shorter breaks more often. During each break, get up from the computer. If possible, engage in some mindless and pleasurable activity. Don’t keep your nose to the grind stone.

These tips might seem to go against common knowledge, but don’t take it from me. Try it yourself and see if they work.

Toby Russell

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