More often than not, people strive to find ways by which they can increase their productivity at work. While science has proven certain methods to improve your productivity, there still seems to be some common productivity myths that needs to be debunked once and for all.
Myth 1: Working from home doesn’t work
Many people believe that if you’re not physically in the office, then you’re not actually working. Working from a remote location, such as your own home, is more popular than one might think. With the increase in smartphones, BYOD, and Wi-Fi accessibility, this practice is becoming increasingly more mainstream worldwide.
Researchers have found that being in an office can potentially result in less productivity due to a loud, busy surrounding. Working remotely means you get to choose your environment. Some may be more productive in a public space, such as a coffee shop, while others may be more productive in a more tranquil location, such as in the backyard of their home. Whatever the case may be, you can only do what you feel more comfortable with.
Myth 2: You need coffee to get things done
If you don’t drink coffee, you may think this doesn’t apply to you. Truth is, it’s not coffee that people say they need, it’s caffeine. So if you don’t drink coffee but you drink tea, soda, or take caffeine pills, keep reading. While research says the effects of caffeine increase alertness and makes you more awake, they also say it increases anxiety and can be detrimental to your sleep.
This is important to note because how much and how well you sleep both have a tremendous impact on your productivity. This is not to say you should quit your caffeine intake, but at the very least, don’t rely on it to get your work done because you may end up getting less done in the long haul.
Myth 3: Buckle down and get it done and then take a break
Sometimes you may think that powering through a project to get it done is the right way to go. Experts say that quick breaks in between work can help refresh your mind and leave you feeling more focused to work. Rushing to get things done because you’re stressed is not productive, especially when you may have to revisit your work later because you made a mistake when you weren’t thinking clearly.
Consider taking a step back from your work for a little while. Go outside and get some fresh air for a few minutes. Get a drink of water or a quick snack. Do whatever it is that you need to do to recharge your brain so you can continue to be focused throughout the day.
Myth 4: If you’re only working on one thing at a time, then you’re not being productive
Trying to juggle multiple pieces of work at the same time can be not only tiring, but stressful as well. A Stanford study showed that attempting to work on more than one thing at once can actually end you up with a less effective result for everything that you’ve been working on. You’ll never be attentive while doing numerous things at once, you’ll lose focus, and you may even try to take shortcuts to get things finished.
Instead, concentrate on one thing at a time. You’ll likely get that one thing finished quicker than you’ve ever imagined and be able to move on to the next thing with your undivided attention. This can actually lead to quicker results than if you did decide to work on multiple things at once!
Myth 5: You should be diving head first into each project
You jump right into a project, things go smoothly for a little while but then you’re stuck. All of a sudden, it’s the end of the day. How could this happen?
Just because you start a project right away and you have six hours of the rest of your work day to get things done, doesn’t mean things will get done. You could reserve the next three days to finish a task but if you don’t plan ahead, you’ll be left in the middle not knowing whether to go forward or backward. I know that jumping head first into a project seems like the more productive or attractive method, but to put it simply, it’s not.
Creating a detailed plan for a project and organizing each step of the process is the best way to get things done. It’s also important to keep up on your plan and not abandon it halfway through. Rather than being stuck for hours on what to do next, you can take a look at your plan and have multiple directions as to where you go from your current situation. Creating a plan beforehand would probably only take you an hour or two at the most and it’ll likely be smooth sailing after that.
That definitely beats being stuck for three hours and having to start all over, am I right?