Don’t fall for these Productivity myths: Get more done now!
American Psychological Association defines productivity as the relationship between the quantity or quality of output (goods or services created or provided) and the input (time, materials etc.) required to create it. For the longest time, we have heard almost all ways to increase our productivity.
Managing your time, making your 24 hours count, cutting down on your screen time, and waking up just when the sun does are parts of the many pieces of unsolicited advice, we may receive to increase our productivity. Countless influencers online come up with videos and articles suggesting zillions of ways to take on the world. Through this article, let us try and bust some of the well-known productivity myths that may not help you rise and shine.
Myth#1: Emulate Successful People
Multiple videos surf online educating us about the habits of successful people on the planet. Now these videos should provoke us to ask many questions. The first and foremost, though, should be questioning the statistical relevance of these claims. Are they statistically sound? if they are not, how can one claim that this is one of the solutions to your procrastination? Apart from its probable statistical irrelevance, these tips could also spread a very problematic thought of worthlessness and inferiority.
Furthermore, it may even promote the belief that one’s efforts are never enough to be successful. Thus, they may undermine their efforts and may become frustrated towards the work. It is very humane to feel inspired by the actions and habits of people whom we look up to as role models. But, the line between deriving inspiration from their productivity methods and, idolizing them, emulating their habits to a toxic extent, should never be blurred in our minds. The latter could lead us to forget that these people were the product of their time and circumstances, which are never identical to ours, thus, copying their behavioural patterns word by word may never turn out to be the solution for your productivity concerns.
Myth#2: Early to bed, Early to rise
Advice like “wake up at 4 am” or “do not sit too late at night” is never a suitable prototype for all individuals and obviously not a one-stop solution for the seemingly unproductive life. People, no matter whether they choose to be a morning bird or a night owl, ought to take care of their sleep cycles, food habits, and physical exercises, to remain focused and productive throughout the day. This will help them ensure that these cycles do not disturb the homeostasis of their physical bodies and do not make them vulnerable to lifestyle disorders. Moreover, one’s choice to be a morning or night person is never really a choice in their hands.
They are built likewise. It is their inherited internal body clock that determines one’s circadian cycles and tame them to be morning bird or night owl. To wake up early or to sleep late, is just there in their genes. Fighting one’s body clock to conform to another standard that society conveniently imposed on people, would surely make them less productive. It is hence, pivotal to match one’s internal clocks with their schedule and remain focused during specific hours one dedicates to work to hone one’s productivity.
Myth#3: Make the most out of every moment
“Why are you sitting idle? Don’t you have some work? Don’t waste your time! Finish it ASAP!”
This is that one dialogue that all of us must have uniformly heard from our homes, schools, colleges, workplaces, and whatnot, from time immemorial. These dialogues seemed to have normalised our belief that we can level up our productivity game by squeezing out each moment from every second the clock ticks. Instead of struggling to quantify every second in one’s life, choose a particular time slot within which one’s focus seems to be the maximum to get their tasks done productively.
Keeping a close track of the number of hours one’s attention and focus span is at its best and the time of the day they fall in would help them set their energy apart for the important tasks of the day. Create personal calendars and schedules, rather than following pre-made “success-assuring schedules” found online. No one knows your targets, schedules, your attention, your interests and disinterests and whatnot, like you. A study conducted by Ernst and Young showed that the longer the vacation its employees took, the better their performance in the subsequent months turned out to be. This proves not everyone should quantify their moments into ticking bombs of productivity.
Myth#4: A good productivity app is a one-stop shop
We, the citizens of today, depend hugely on apps and websites to get our lives on track in almost all aspects. Sustaining productivity has now become one of those in which we turn to social media websites for tips and more often to apps that people choose to mend their ways to be a fine productive person. But, the fact is that even when these apps largely aid us in navigating our paths in sustaining our productivity, these are never one-stop shops for the same. One should try and identify the obstructions they are facing to remain productive and subsequently try and develop personal interventions to address the same. If they are unable to, they can seek the help of these apps rather than spending a major chunk of their time trialling the app that fits them the best.
These productivity myths can turn out to be detrimental to one’s development in their professional and personal lives. Thus, it is imperative for us to actively unleash the possible facts behind them and ensure that we do not fall prey to the former. Busting these myths would help us to understand the complexities hidden behind the concept, gifting us the audacity to embrace our individual needs, and our mental health and therefore, give “productivity” our own definition.