PCA Logo

Productivity myths, crushed

Productivity is a complex art

Productivity is, in today’s fast paced world, the key to our success. If we don’t get our work done, fast, to a high standard, someone else will.

So, how are we going to get everything done AND sleep?

It’s not difficult to understand why productivity hacks are attractive to the modern worker. There are some amazing productivity tricks, supported by science, which I’ve written about here but the internet is noisy some not so great “productivity hacks” are creeping into the workplace..

To make sure you’re not making your work day even longer, here is a list of five, not so helpful productivity myths, that you should forget;

1.Pressure is conducive to productivity

Nope, just no. Stress is exceptionally harmful to our bodies and minds. Decision making is less effective, we are less likely to perform at our best and increased exposure to cortisol (stress hormone) significantly undermines our happiness. So if you have a habit of justifying your last minute organisational skills because you “thrive under pressure”, it’s time to stop living this lie.

2. Knock out the menial work first

Starting with the “busy-work”, has the same effect as scrolling through social media before a work day – it kills momentum and productivity. Scientists suggest that you should always start your day with your most difficult, most important because this means  you tackle challenges when you’re at your most creative and prepared.

The strategy should be; Jump straight into the top priority on your list and when you’re ready to take a break, switch gears to the lower-impact tasks.

3. Breaks will kill your productivity

Wrong. Breaks actually increase your focus. A study by the Federal Aviation Administration found that short breaks lead to 16% boosts in focus. Better to work for 90 minutes at a time with short breaks in between then to just power through and hope for the best.

4. You need to be inspired to be productive

Unless you are the next big thing at the Tate Modern, I don’t think you can pull this one. Momentum creates motivation. Take action right away and once you are totally connected with your tasks, that’s when you’ll get your much lured after hit of inspiration.

5. Last but not least – multitasking is beneficial

This only gets a short note because I’ve written about this fallacy before. Multi-tasking is not a productivity hack, in fact, it kills your productivity and standard of work, so please forget this bad habit for good.