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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 July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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