There are many productivity tips and tricks on the internet that can help you ace your day at work, get your business off the ground and achieve your goals. While some of these are proven to work, there are also numerous productivity myths and half-truths floating around that keep us from getting stuff done. In this article, we discuss five such productivity myths and debunk them with the help of science and research!
❌ Myth 1: Multitasking makes you productive
Talking on the phone while working on an excel sheet, listening to your favourite podcast while running, answering emails while cooking – multitasking can mean different things to different people. While doing two things at once may sound like the perfect way to get more done, there are several reasons why it isn’t as good for your productivity as you think.
No matter how you multitask, switching between those tasks is a huge part of the process. Doing two things at once simultaneously means that you’re not really able to focus on either entirely. It reduces your efficiency and performance and most often than not, can lead to poor quality of work. Studies also suggest that multitasking can reduce productivity by a whopping 40%. So the next time you have a packed day, prioritise your tasks and complete them one at a time.
❌ Myth 2: Powering through without breaks
A fast-approaching deadline, a couple of cups of coffee and no breaks in between — we’ve all been there. But did you know that stepping away from your desk to do something other than work (even when you’re super busy) can promote creativity and boost your productivity? It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true. Taking a 5-minute break every hour, even if it is to refill your glass of water, can act as a change of scenery and keep us away from burnout.
If you feel aches creeping up on you, try doing some easy stretches or adjusting your posture. Eye strain is prevalent among employees who use screens, so while you’re taking your much-deserved break, try to stay away from your phone or tablet.
❌ Myth 3: Being available all the time, for everyone
This one is a myth that is so largely propagated that some of us might have a hard time believing that it isn’t true. Of course, there is nothing wrong with helping others out when they need your help. The problem arises when you put your own tasks in the backburner and concentrate entirely on completing someone else’s task. This may cause you to feel as though your workload never gets smaller, no matter how hard you try.
Prioritise the tasks that you’re already working on and do them well. Refer to your to-do list for the day and only say ‘Yes’ to the tasks that you have the mental bandwidth and time to do. Remember, if you’re doing your work along with some else’s, you’re not productive. You’re simply multitasking badly.
❌ Myth 4: Longer hours, better productivity
The most sinister of all productivity myths is that longer hours means you’re acing your productivity game. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because you’re spending long hours at the office, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re getting quality work done. In fact, working long hours can be detrimental to our health as it can increase the chances of a stroke.
Create a daily to-do list to manage your time well. Stick to your schedule as much as possible and switch off on time. As mentioned in #2, take frequent breaks and use your remaining time to work more efficiently.
❌ Myth 5: Working from home is unproductive
Before 2020, many employers believed remote work to be unproductive, distracting and almost too relaxing an environment to get any work done. However, as the global workforce made a big shift to the WFH life, it has become evident that working from home is possible, productive and has a tremendously positive effect on work-life balance. A recent study has shown that office workers don’t want to return to normal and prefer a hybrid workplace. Learn more about the future of work and what it can mean for your business here.