Reading about productivity is almost like reading about some kind of mythical creature. All that news outlets and business gurus talk about is either ways that people can get more productive or reasons why people aren’t as productive as they should be.
The hard truth is that the road to productivity looks different for everyone, and it will inevitably require lots of trial and error to find out what works for you. That being said, here are some common productivity myths that may be holding your team back.
To put it bluntly, multitasking doesn’t work. Multitasking gives you the impression that you’re being productive — but the truth is that it’s better to just focus on one task and do it well rather than do several things poorly. This might mean putting aside that Slack message for now and getting to it later, but that’s okay. Try to teach your team to focus on one task at a time, and avoid assigning an overwhelming number of deadlines in a day when possible.
You need apps X, Y, and Z
Productivity apps constantly blur the line between needs and wants. Such apps definitely work for some people, but having five billion apps to “organise” your team’s schedule can end up making you feel even more disorganised. Before trying a new app, you have to first look at your current workflow and really think about whether you need an addition. If a particular app boasts tons of features, make sure you will actually use the features — otherwise, it’s just a distracting plaything for your team members.
The more meetings there are, the better
On the contrary, meetings are a huge time commitment that can distract you from your other tasks. This is why Verizon Connect’s post on productivity tips recommends setting aside at least one day per week to not have any meetings. Doing so gives your team the necessary breathing room to finish what they need to do. In turn, you and your team are likely to be more energised and focused when it comes time to meet again. Spacing out your meetings also means you and your team will be able to give each other concrete updates on what you’ve already completed.
Productivity and self-worth are tied
This is a dangerous myth to believe. While it does feel good to plough through your to-do list, Thrive Global stresses that your self-worth doesn’t come from your productivity alone. Taking the “work hard, play hard” mantra too seriously can lead to you burning yourself out, which can then cause some health problems in the long run. We emphasize in our post on ‘Maintaining Wealth & Wellbeing’ how it’s important to be aware of our current stress levels, as it can help reduce stress and result in a healthier, happier person. Encourage a proper work-life balance in your team by asking everyone to clock out after work hours, and avoid overtime where possible. You don’t have to be doing the most work in order to prove that you’re worthy.
The 9-to-5 schedule is optimal
If you have the luxury of having flexible work hours, just know that you don’t need to be strict about the 9-to-5 schedule. Having a routine is definitely good and setting concrete work hours helps you establish your boundaries, but a sustainable workflow comes about when you find the times that you work best. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you’re online for any meetings or to submit any work; you can schedule your day around these times to make sure you’re online.
An article by the Australian Financial Review outlines that the rise of remote work means people are rethinking their daily routines while trying to complete their tasks. Debunking productivity myths is an important step in clearing your mind and getting you ready for work.
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Produced by: Joy Bennet