5 productivity myths that are wrecking your work life
"Every day I’m hustling."
"Harder, better, faster, stronger."
Pop stars aren’t the only ones demanding we be more productive. Our employers always seem to want more and sooner, so everyone’s looking for the next great productivity hack.
But all those myths you’ve heard about how to get the job done faster are just that – myths. And sorry, Kanye, but faster doesn’t mean better. We prefer to take work advice from a group of classic rockers: "Go your own way". It’s all about learning how and when you perform at your best.
MYTH 1: Busy work
Busy work – doing something simply to be seen to be doing it – might fill your days, but what are you actually achieving? And what chance is there for creativity or long-term thinking if every second is filled?
Take the time to daydream – you might just dream up the next big thing. Walk away from your desk when you’re stuck. When your body is busy, your brain gets a chance to wander…and stumble across exactly the answer it was looking for.
MYTH 2: Being available 24/7
A sure-fire way to burnout is never giving yourself the chance to switch off.
You’re not getting more done by answering emails at midnight – you’re tiring yourself out before tomorrow even begins. You’re not going to enjoy Sunday brunch while that work call you took on Saturday is nagging at you.
So if setting work notifications to silent isn’t enough, maybe it’s time to split your work and personal life across two devices – leave the work one in your bag until Monday morning.
MYTH 3: "I thrive on pressure"
Sure, you have reason to be proud of making it through the week from hell. But with deadline looming and the boss’s brow getting more furrowed by the second, were the solutions you came up with the best, or simply the quickest?
If pressure is what drives you, when things quiet down you’re likely to hit a wall and get nothing much done at all. It’s time to find a new motivation – and maybe remember why you loved doing this job in the first place.
MYTH 4: Multitasking
You pride yourself on your ability to do three things at once – and sometimes it seems like the only option.
But science begs to differ: Multitasking you isn’t the best you. Not only does multitasking make you less productive and less likely to retain information, London of University research showed it can actually lower your IQ to the same extent as if you had smoked marijuana or stayed awake all night. Crazy, right?
MYTH 5: Working out is hard work (and it takes too long)
The workplace traps we fall into can hamper our workouts, too.
Just because you got into the office two hours before Jim doesn’t mean you got more done. Likewise, just because you spent two hours at the gym doesn’t mean you hit the intensity required to make an impact on the muscle groups you really needed to work. That’s why Centr is dedicated to giving you short, sharp and targeted workouts – get in, get maximum impact, get out. We’re all about routine, too – making a healthy habit out of getting active and honing a discipline that will enhance all aspects of life.
For instance, we’ve all heard the myth that working out first thing in the morning burns more fat. But if 6am starts are a constant struggle and you’re happier walking the dog after breakfast or hitting the gym after work, stick with that. The great thing about physical exercise is that it will help you get the most out of your work life, too. As Harvard Medical School put it: “Aerobic exercise is key for your head, just as it is for your heart.” Exercise counters depression, dissipates stress, produces endorphins and can lift your spirits as much as it builds your body.
There now, don’t you feel better already?
Looking for a practical way to boost wellbeing and productivity at work? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about Centr's workplace wellness program.
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