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Avoid These 8 Productivity Myths

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247354

entrepreneur.com

Avoid These 8 Productivity Myths
5 min read With all the distractions competing for your attention, it's natural to fall back on time-honored ideas about productivity when trying to maximize your time. But what if those ideas weren't really quite right? Or what if you've been applying them wrong all along?

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Investigating procrastination

Investigating procrastination

If you are putting something off, consider why. Often it's not the task you're avoiding but a larger issue, such as a fear of failure or a lack of concrete direction.

Ask yourself what you need to make getting things done easier. And if your delays stem from a larger issue with your job, don't feel like you have to go it alone – ask for help.

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Doing the "busy work" first

Doing the "busy work" first

Scientists say doing hard work first ensures you tackle challenges when you’re at your most creative and prepared. Jump right into the biggest priority on your list and when you're ready to take a break, switch gears to the lower-impact tasks.

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Thriving under pressure

Thriving under pressure

Working in crisis mode can make you less creative, since you’re less likely to collaborate and seek out new perspectives and find the best idea. You’re more likely to rely on hierarchy and produce average work, not breakthroughs.

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Having too much to do

Having too much to do

People often add overly ambitious plans that seem daunting and set them up for failure, but a manageable plan makes us less likely to procrastinate. Drop off or delegate what you can, reevaluate what you’re expected to do and start asking for help. 

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Practice doesn't always make perfect

Practice doesn't always make perfect

Only the right type of practice will lead to improvement. Re-examine your tasks if they help you to move the needle or meet important benchmarks, and if they do, think how you can improve them.

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Multi-tasking and efficiency

Multi-tasking and efficiency

Multitasking adds stress and draws out the time needed to complete individual items on your to-do list. Instead, finish one task at a time.

Prioritize and concentrate on what’s most important first. Working your way through the list will motivate you and give you a sense of accomplishment.

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Powering through

Powering through

Studies indicate that short breaks can lead to 16% boosts in focus. Better to work for 90 minutes at a time with short breaks in between.

Stepping back to clear your head, even if it's just for a quick walk around your office, can jumpstart your brain and leave you feeling refreshed.

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To-do lists

To-do lists

Properly set to-do lists can keep you organized and help you commit to a task. Studies indicate that setting strict parameters and deadlines while measuring progress can keep you accountable, encouraged and on track.

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The "power" of multitasking

Multitasking can be detrimental. Research shows it stresses and slows us down, increasing our potential for error. It also decreases information retention and focus.

Productivity in offices

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Failing to Keep a To-Do List

The trick with using To-Do Lists effectively lies in prioritizing the tasks on your list. Many people use an A – F coding system (A for high priority items, F for very low priorities). 

Not Setting Personal Goals

Goals give you a destination and a vision to work toward. When you know where you want to go, you can manage your priorities, time, and resources to get there. Goals also help you decide what's worth spending your time on, and what's just a distraction.

Not Prioritizing

It's essential to learn how to prioritize tasks effectively if you want to manage your time better.

Determine if a task is high-yield and high-priority, or low-value, "fill in" work. You'll manage your time much better during the day if you know the difference.

Stop Reacting

Don’t check your email or anything else that is going to dictate your behavior.

If you start your day by checking and replying to emails, it means you'll just react as new things come ...

The Things That Matter Most

Most of us get 80% of results from 20% of the work we do. So focus on that 20%.

Don’t be vague. Specify what you need to get done - research shows that having concrete goals is correlated with huge increases in confidence and feelings of control.

Use Your “Magic Hours” Wisely

You have 2-2.5 hours of peak productivity every day. You may actually be 30% more effective at that time. For most of us, this happens in the morning.

Those are the hours when you should be working on your main goals. Why would you want to waste that on a conference call or a staff meeting?