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8 Misconceptions of Time That Make You Less Productive

Written by Leon Ho
Founder & CEO of Lifehack
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“Time is money,” as we have all heard. While time is valuable, it does not appear to be something we can grasp. And, despite the fact that we are all aware of the importance of cherishing our time, we unconsciously waste it at the tip of our fingers all the time! It’s as if we’re still grappling with the concept of time and how it works. Time management, on the other hand, has become a cultural obsession, and it, like any cultural phenomenon, is surrounded by myths.

With a limited understanding of time and these myths, it becomes increasingly difficult to use our time wisely and be truly productive. These misconceptions cause us to have a distorted view of productivity, causing us to become less efficient, less motivated, more prone to burnout, and more prone to making poor decisions.

To overcome some of these false beliefs, we must first understand what “time” means in terms of productivity.

In this article, I’ll debunk 8 misconceptions of time that are probably causing you to be less productive.

Misconception of Time 1. All Time Is Equal.

It is a prevalent fallacy that all time is equal and that we can use our time anyway we like without facing any repercussions.

This occurs when people are unaware of the long-term implications of how they spend their time. For instance, if a person consistently prioritizes work over personal life, they may be unaware that they are jeopardizing their relationships and overall well-being.

Similarly, if a person engages in activities that do not align with their values or goals on a consistent basis, they may be unaware that they are wasting valuable time that could be spent on more fulfilling and meaningful pursuits.

In truth, some times are more important than others, and how we use our time has a significant impact on our lives. For example, time spent with loved ones or taking care of our physical and emotional health is more important than time spent on social media or watching television.


By recognizing that not all time is equal and that some time is more precious than others, we can make better decisions about how we prioritize our time and allocate it to the things that are most important to us. This can lead to a more fulfilling and rewarding life.

Misconception of Time 2. Time Is Intangible.

People may believe that time is intangible because it is an abstract concept that cannot be touched or seen; and that it is constantly in motion and cannot be stopped or reversed. Time is simply difficult to comprehend or control. As a result, people believe that time cannot be measured or valued.

This, once again, is not correct.

While time cannot be seen or touched in the same way that money or objects can, it remains a palpable and precious resource. Its worth is determined by its quality rather than by a specific amount or quantity.

Time spent on important matters such as a business endeavor, pursuing our interests, learning new skills, being with our families, and exercising for improved health, for example, is frequently regarded as more valuable than time spent on low-priority chores or activities.

The value of time is measured by its quality.

Misconception of Time 3. More Time Equals More Productivity.

Productivity is not solely determined by the amount of time available. While more time allows for more work to be completed, it does not always imply that a person will be more productive.

A person’s skill level, motivation, and focus are all factors that can influence productivity. For example, someone who is well-trained and highly motivated may be able to complete a task in less time and with greater quality than someone who is less skilled or less motivated.


There is also such a thing as too much time. When a person has too much time on their hands, they may become less motivated or focused, and they may even procrastinate. It’s more important to strike a balance and use time wisely than to simply try to complete more tasks in less time.

It is not how much time you have, but how you use it. People who use their time efficiently can be just as productive in less time.

Misconception of Time 4. Time Management Is About Doing More.

While time management can help you in completing more tasks, it is much more.

Finding balance between your personal, professional, and recreational pursuits is a key component of time management. It’s important to allow yourself enough time to rest and refuel.

If you try to do too much and overburden yourself with work, you may experience burnout, which can lead to decreased productivity and overall well-being. This is why it’s crucial to schedule downtime and activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Misconception of Time 5. To Be Productive, You Must Do Everything Yourself.

It’s natural to believe that doing everything yourself gives you more control over the quality and outcome of a task. You can also avoid failures or mistakes caused by delegating work to others this way.

But, a lot of the time, it could just be our ego playing with us because when we complete everything on our own, we feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, leading us to believe that doing things ourselves is more productive.


In reality, attempting to do everything yourself can reduce your productivity over time.

Delegating tasks to others can help you save time and focus on the most important tasks. It is an efficient method of utilizing the strengths and skills of others. Delegating tasks to people who are skilled in a particular area may allow them to complete the task more efficiently and effectively than if you tried to do it yourself.

Delegating tasks can also help to foster teamwork and trust within a team or organization. It can also aid in the development of others’ skills and knowledge, which can be beneficial to the overall success of the team or organization.

Overall, delegating tasks can be a good way to boost productivity and efficiency if done correctly.

Misconception of Time 6. Controlling Your Calendar Is Impossible If You Aren’t the Boss.

Many people believe that if they are not the boss, they will be unable to control their calendar due to their limited decision-making power. They may have less decision-making power and may not be able to control when meetings are scheduled and tasks are assigned.

While controlling your calendar may be more challenging if you are not the boss, it is still possible to manage your time effectively. A few strategies you can try are:

  • Make your availability known: Inform your boss and coworkers of your availability, as well as the tasks and commitments you have. This can help to avoid scheduling unnecessary meetings or tasks at unexpected times.
  • Establish boundaries: Set boundaries with your boss and coworkers on the tasks and commitments you can accept. This can help you avoid overloading and ensure that you have enough time to complete your work.
  • Prioritize tasks: Start with the most important ones and try to delegate or postpone the less important ones if possible.
  • Use time management tools: To-do lists, calendars, and time tracking software are just a few of the tools and techniques that can help you better manage your time.
  • Ask for help: There’s no shame in asking for help. If you really are having trouble managing your time, consider seeking support from your co-worker, manager or boss. They may be able to provide resources or tips to help you manage your time more effectively.

Misconception of Time 7. It’s Good To Be Constantly Busy.

While some people prefer to keep their schedules as tight as possible in order to avoid wasting time, others do so in order to keep up with others or to avoid missing out on opportunities.

Some may be influenced by social pressure to be constantly busy and prioritize work over other aspects of their lives. This can lead them to believe that being constantly busy is good because it feeds their ego to always be accomplishing something.


However, being overly busy can result in burnout and a decline in productivity. When you’re constantly on the go, you may not have enough time to rest, which can lead to physical and mental exhaustion. It can be difficult to focus and complete tasks when you are overwhelmed and overburdened.

Therefore, it’s important to schedule breaks and downtime so you can recharge.

Misconception of Time 8. Time Management Is A One-Time Fix.

With so many productivity tips available online, it’s common to see people’s “killer formulas” for increasing productivity. While those suggestions may work on occasion, they will not work consistently. This is because good time management habits, such as prioritizing, making a plan, and sticking to it, take time and effort to develop and maintain, and consistency is essential for effectiveness.

It’s also important to review and adjust your time management strategies on a regular basis, as many factors can affect your ability to manage your time effectively, such as changes in your work or personal commitments, changes in your goals and priorities, and changes in your workload.

Remember, time management is an ongoing process that needs constant effort and attention to be successful.

Final Thoughts

Misconceptions of time can lead to unrealistic expectations and perspectives on time, preventing people from making the best use of their time. Furthermore, misconceptions about time management can lead to inefficient time management. People who believe they must work nonstop in order to be productive may be wasting their time..

Understanding time management myths can help you use your time more effectively and efficiently, as well as have a more positive attitude toward time management.


Featured photo credit: Daniele Franchi via unsplash.com

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