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6 Productivity Myths You Should Stop Paying Attention to

6 Productivity Myths You Should Stop Paying Attention to
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In this digital age, there seems to be an abundance of information. We want to know so much about self-improvement and how to meet our career goals. The truth however is that, amidst all the information there are lies that distorts the facts.

To reach your goals and be more productive, you have to be better informed and follow strategies that deliver results rather than become a victim of the many “How To’s” out there.

So yes, we want to adopt the right tools in our profession to get more done and to reach our goals. But however even with the right tools, your effort to become more productive can be thwarted. Here are 6 productivity myths you should learn to avoid and the actual facts related to the truth of the situation.

Myth 1:

You need to multitask to get more done. And this won’t cause any problem.

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Fact

When you try to do so much at once, you hardly accomplish anything at all. It is more productive to finish one task at a time. Rather than multitask, focus on prioritizing and concentrating on actions that are more important first. When you can achieve a task purposefully, you are motivated to go further to another project not only with a sense of accomplishment, but also with positivity and confidence.

Myth 2:

You have to work harder to be more productive.

Fact

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Such a myth has propelled careerists to become busy for the sake of showing how hard they work. However, productivity is not about how much work you put in, but how result-oriented you are on the task you have set out to accomplish. It is not productivity when you burden yourself with time consuming tasks. Prioritizing and focusing on relevant matters can help you attain more after all.

Myth 3:

Working Remotely can hurt your productivity.

Fact

This myth may have been true years ago, but the workplace is constantly evolving. In fact there are studies to show that people who work from home are actually more productive and happier. With modern technology you can actually do those tasks you do in an office environment also at home. Working remotely can be effective if your environment is free from distractions, it really doesn’t matter where you are working from.

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Myth 4:

Pressure makes you work smarter

Fact

According to experts, it is wrong to assume that you are more creative and can get the job done when you are under pressure. Actually you are less likely to collaborate and have a better angle to your ideas. While staying off pressure can help you produce excellent work, when you are under pressure you are more likely to produce average and shoddy work.

Myth 5:

Breaks are inessential and you can power through work.

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Fact

It is necessary to have a solid break schedule. You are better able to handle tasks mentally and physically, when you take the needed break your body needs. Taking breaks relieve stress and increase your productivity. According to a study, taking frequent breaks improve your focus, creativity and productivity. Co-author of the study, John Trougakos, admits that, “all efforts to control behavior, to perform and to focus draw on that pool of psychological energy. Once that energy source is depleted, we become less effective at everything that we do.” To attain more productivity in a work environment, the focus should not be on working longer, but on working smarter and taking as many breaks as possible.

Myth 6:

There is a general rule to productivity

Fact

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Everyone is different and peculiar. What works for ‘A’ may not be applicable to B. You cannot generalize a productivity system, rather it is smarter to identify what works best for you. It may not be accomplished at once, but by trying and experimenting with different techniques you can find out how to make the best use of your time and energy.

Featured photo credit: https://picjumbo.com/download/?d=HNCK7437.jpg&n=work-and-travel-hotel-room-office via picjumbo.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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