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Overcoming 5 Common Myths about Productivity

Productivity is a central issue in the life of every worker or a student. As you strive to get more things done in shorter time periods, many of us may fall victim to some of the common productivity myths, many of which can actually negatively impact your work. To put these misconceptions to rest, we’ve compiled a list of 5 of the most common myths to help you make sure you’re really getting the most out of your day.

Myth 1: Productivity is about getting things done faster.

Today’s hectic and over-stimulated world can cause you to be hurried, busy, and multitaskers, in an attempt to increase productivity and life satisfaction. When most people think of productivity, they think of efficiency—getting more things done in less time. While efficiency is important, it is secondary. More important than efficiency is effectiveness—getting the right things done. Efficiency doesn’t matter if you are doing the wrong things in the first place.

The underlying truth: Productivity is about efficacy first, not efficiency.

Myth 2: 8 hours of sleep is a must

You’ve been told by health experts, and its conventional wisdom, that you should sleep between seven and eight continuous hours a day as an adult. Yet, the assumption that an eight-hour block of sleep is the ideal or norm may be a myth. The truth is, the amount of sleep required for optimal functioning depends on individual needs and that the right amount of sleep is different for everyone. Depending on the season, your mood or the previous day, you might need more or less sleep to be productive the next day. The 8-hour sleep rule is simply a myth.

The underlying truth: Sleep is something that cannot be bent to the uniform rules of productivity.

Myth 3: Multitasking is for super achievers

Multitasking is a curse of productivity. When too much is going on at the same time everything slows down, work quality suffers, concentration deteriorates and everyone involved starts to feel overwhelmed. The idea of focusing on one task at a time may seem exasperating to some, especially when enthusiasm gets in the way, but it’s vital. Here’s how you can summarize this philosophy with this one simple question, “What’s the ONE Thing you can do that will make everything else simpler?” Finding that task can have a rolling effect on everything on the list that precedes it, which can result in an efficient operation.

The underlying truth: Delegation is not a skill, nor it’s an art form; it’s merely common sense.

Myth 4: Not taking breaks makes you productive

Contrary to what some believe, not taking a break will actually decrease your productivity.

Large workloads, tight deadlines and Long hours of study, not only affect your mental capacity and performance, but your physical health too. Taking small amounts of time out from your study can help you to relax and recover both physically and mentally. If you are sitting in front of the computer screen for long periods then eyestrain, headaches, and even blurred vision could become a problem. This is known as computer vision syndrome and it’s not something you want if you’re trying to concentrate and remain focused.

The underlying truth: Productivity is not working like a machine. Make your goals feasible and accessible.

Myth 5: Day dreaming = Not being productive

We all like to stay busy and seldom have time to spare for boredom or daydreaming. In fact, all of these are essential to our mental health and help us organize the information acquired during the day. They recharge our brains and power our productivity. A study reveals that these moments of idleness can actually help you focus. Remember the story of Isaac Newton lazing around in the shade when a falling apple inspired him to consider gravity?

The underlying truth: Zoning out for a few minutes allows your brain to tackle tasks it can’t handle when you’re busy.

There’s never a bad time to start a ‘productivity resolutions’, especially when they could save you time and help you with your degree. Here’s how you can apply a few productivity tips that could make a huge difference to how you manage work, time and all the fun stuff whilst you are at university.

  • Keep your to-do list short
  • Face difficult tasks in the mornings
  • Break up your day into 60 – 90-minute slots
  • Do your readings & research in quaint places
  • Focus on one thing
  • Don’t spend too much time on social media
  • Listen to music if it helps your concentration levels
  • Make your phone off limits

So, our tip would be that you should be a little skeptical the next time you hear someone utter a little chestnut of “productivity wisdom.” People will always try to find shortcuts and hacks to make their working life easier, and some will prove to be useful. But in the end, you’ll take control of your own productivity by identifying your biggest goals. Once you identify it, you’ll be halfway to your next giant accomplishment.

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