Is your creative bug bitten by any of these most common productivity myths? Anna Verasai for HR Digest.
Do you want to become the most productive person at your workplace? You will counter this question as a stupid one because let's accept it everyone wants to be that productive person co-workers envy. Completing tasks by deadlines, giving in extra inputs, helping in others' projects and presentations and what not, productivity is the most touted virtue in an employee. But put a brake on that productivity cycle of yours and give second thoughts to your ideas about workplace productivity. Is your creative bug bitten by any of these most common productivity myths?
Think productivity also has myths related to it? In a work culture where everyone is obsessed to spawn productivity in their routines, where search engines like Google sprout more than 200 million results by simply searching for 'productivity', myths certainly do rounds. Much of the groundwork for such beliefs is due to the concept that productivity means accomplishing everything, which, friends, is not the reality.
Waking up Early is the only way to Increase Productivity
This tops the list of the most common productivity myths. While this may be true for some morning birds, it is not the same case scenario for each individual on the planet. Some people can put their best foot forward in the wee hours of the day. On the other hand some are night owls, unleashing creativity in hours of pin-drop silence. Some of you may feel drained out by evening and for some energy levels start bolting up after noon.
The key to productivity is not waking up early, but it is in knowing your peak time phase for an energetic performance. Morning, evening or night, if you are not bound by corporate constraints, decide the best time period for yourself and then put in cent percent.
Breaks are for the Procrastinators
No. Taking a break is not only for those who procrastinate. No book or article has ever mentioned that productive people do not require a break. In fact, to tell the truth short breaks can actually increase your productivity levels. Your mind is not a machine. Let it rest every once in a while. Productive people also have the rights to let their brains relax and daydream. You are chained to your desks when working in a white collar job. In such cases, use breaks to switch off your brain and give some activity to your body. A small walk or a simple exercise is enough to fill you with zest again.
Pomodoro is the Ultimate Productivity Enhancer
When we say that taking a break is important to enhance productivity, by no means we believe that a Pomodoro technique should be followed. You are already caught in the clasps of deadlines, projects, and desks and laptops. You already follow a heinous work routine for 5 to 6 days straight. Why would someone want breaks to be followed in a pattern?
If breaks are for mental relaxation, a break pattern should not be compulsory. Undoubtedly the Pomodoro technique can work for some. Few of us can work for 2 hours straight before taking a break while some need short bursts of break every 30 minutes. Observe your work patterns and decide your breaks accordingly.
Break the productivity myths regarding the compulsion of a patterned break.
Multitasking is the Crowned Skill of Productive People
The word 'Multitasking' has been crowned by some as the ultimate productive virtue. When an individual tries to multitask his brain only switches from one task to another. Given this fact your brain cannot give attention to one task on hand and sometimes clubs information resulting in a fiasco.
Phone calls while driving, checking e-mails while commuting, peeping in other's presentations while completing your own; the list of multitasking is a long one. The vicious tradition of multitasking has slithered in everyone's day-to-day routines slowly like a snake. To warn you, multitasking in fact increases time utilized to perform tasks by around 25 percent in comparison to completion of tasks one by one.
Are you a robot? If not then simply take one task at a time based on priorities, assign and block a specific time period for it and complete the task before moving on to another.
Working for Longer Hours makes you Produce More
Utter rubbish. Before you go into the rabbit hole of the long work hours' concept realize that it won't help you increase productivity. Yes, sometimes it becomes necessary to stay till late to get done with deadlines and projects. But making it a norm won't prove to be actually helpful to you.
As we already mentioned that every individual has their own time periods of peak performance. After that no extra work hours can result in amazing outputs. After a week or two you will dread the extra hours that you spare at workplace. Your eighth hour at work may not be anywhere near to your productive third hour. Once your energy levels get depleted you will not perform in 10 hours what you can in 6, given proper rest and balance. People working for 70 hours in a week do not necessarily produce more than those working for 55 hours a week, according to some researches. Productivity is measured in outputs, not time.
Rest, relaxation, personal life, and family are equally important as your work. Bread and butter may be the only thing you work for. But your time is diamond-precious for your loved ones too. Break the myths of long work hours and opt for a balanced routine instead.
Free yourself from Productivity Myths
Know one thing on a definite basis that a set of lists cannot define your productive patterns. It is dependent on your personality. Living in a world with almost 7.5 billion population, productivity differs with every individual. What works for one may not necessarily work for another. To actually increase your productivity, free yourself from these most common productivity myths first.
Stop being a bull following the red flag and start observing your own productive patterns. Know your productive strengths and follow them. Create your own niche, even for productivity.