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6 Productivity Myths You Should Stop Paying Attention to

6 Productivity Myths You Should Stop Paying Attention to

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

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 February 21, 2019

How to Stop Information Overload

How to Stop Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

How Serious Is Information Overload?

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem.

This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog posts we don’t even consider reading, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it.

We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on.

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The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control.

Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it.

But first, admit that information overload is really bad for you.

Why Information Overload Is Bad for You

Information overload stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here.

When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

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You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work or enjoy your passion.

How to Stop Information Overload (And Start to Achieve More)

So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with setting goals.

1. Set Your Goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place, you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. Know What to Skip When Facing New Information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks, you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans, then skip it. You don’t need it.

If it does, then ask yourself these questions:

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  • Will you be able to put this information into action immediately?
  • Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks?
  • Is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away?

If the information is not actionable in a day or two, then skip it.

(You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant.

Self-control comes handy too. It’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future, then SKIP IT.

3. Be Aware of the Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour BodyTim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs.

Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose, no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life.

Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

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4. Don’t Procrastinate by Consuming More Information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article, we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

The focus of this article is not on how to stop procrastinating, but if you’re having such issue, I recommend you read this:

Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

Summing It Up

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance.

I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over.

I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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