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7 Popular Productivity Myths Busted

Productivity in offices

We can be productive out of offices. Research shows that those who dislike office have increased productivity when working from home or on public spaces.

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7 Popular Productivity Myths Busted

7 Popular Productivity Myths Busted

https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/7-popular-productivity-myths-busted/

pickthebrain.com

7

Key Ideas

8 hours of sleep as a must

The sleep time required for optimal functioning depends on individual needs – and these vary with season, mood, activity level and other factors.

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

We can be productive out of offices. Research shows that those who dislike office have increased productivity when working from home or on public spaces.

Disconnecting for productivity

Some people say that the web is bad for our productivity because it floods our minds with useless information. In fact, ever since the internet has become a significant part of our lives, we began to consciously choose the knowledge we want to remember. 

Plus, we also rely on it for research.

Clean workspaces

Clean workspaces don’t necessarily increase productivity. 

Studies show that lack of order may help some workers to be more efficient and creative, aiding in their decision-making process.

Day-dreaming and productivity

Idleness and daydreaming don’t necessarily harm productivity. They’re essential to our mental health, helping us order acquired information, recharge our brains and power our productivity.

More time and productivity

Working longer hours doesn’t necessarily increase productivity. It’s been proven to lower productivity, lead to errors and generate stress.

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Copying successful people

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Maximize every moment

Working well is not about maximizing every waking moment of the day, in order to get more done. And the focus on maximizing time may actually diminish our creativity.

Instead, try identifying and focusing on the few hours of the day you are most productive.

Setting Big Goals

To achieve sustainable productivity habits, it’s best to build up with easily achievable tasks.

Small chunks of accomplishment will amount to something big eventually.

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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...

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.

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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Myth #5: You Should Never Work At Home
Myth #5: You Should Never Work At Home

Some people working from home have a higher efficiency on time spent working and performance per minute. The employees surveyed also reported they were happier working at home. 

Myth #4: Pushing To Get Things Done

Willpower is a limited resource, one that we deplete through hard, focused work. We need to take regular breaks to restore our flagging willpower and keep our productivity in the long run.

Take a break and do something different for a few minutes every half-hour or so to give your brain a break and replenish your mental resources. 

Myth #3: The Internet Is A Distraction

The Internet distracts but we use it for researching items and retaining information. If you build up your searching skills and ignore distractions, like social networks, it becomes just a tool.

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Getting Sufficient Sleep

When you’re consistently not getting enough sleep, you get used to feeling tired, and your body adapts to function on that amount of sleep. But this doesn’t mean that you’re performing at you...

8 Hours Of Sleep

Although it is recommended that healthy adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep, everyone is different. There are people who need just three to four hours to stay alert. 

If you’re not sure how many hours of sleep you need on a daily basis, experimentation is the best way to go. Try waking up without an alarm and figure out what your natural wake-up time is. Observe how adding or subtracting one hour of sleep impacts your productivity.

“Catch Up” Sleep On Weekends

The harm of bingeing on sleep on Saturday and Sunday is that it makes it hard to get a full and well-constructed night of sleep on Sunday night, which then sends us off into the workweek on the wrong foot.

If you don’t try to wake up at a similar time at the weekend, it is similar to giving yourself jet lag every weekend.

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Snoring isn’t harmful

Although snoring may be harmless for most people, it can be a symptom of a life-threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea, especially if it is accompanied by severe daytime sleepiness. 

You can "cheat" on sleep

Sleep experts say most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimum performance, health, and safety. 

The resulting sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure, negative mood and behavior, decreased productivity, and safety issues in the home, on the job, and on the road.

Turning up the radio

... opening the window, or turning on the air conditioner are effective ways to stay awake when driving.

These "aids" are ineffective and can be dangerous to the person who is driving while feeling drowsy or sleepy. 

It's best to pull off the road in a safe rest area and take a nap for 15-45 minutes. Caffeinated beverages can help overcome drowsiness for a short period of time. 

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Task switching

Many of the multitasking warnings actually refer to the concept of “task switching.” It refers to switching your attention from one thing to another. 

Frequently flipping back and forth...

Multitasking can have some merit

While you’ve likely heard that it’s physically impossible to do two things at once, that rule really only applies to tasks that require the same cognitive resources. If you can find ways to combine two tasks that are different enough - like listening to an educational podcast while making your commute, practicing for a presentation while getting your miles in on the treadmill, or brainstorming article ideas while doing the dishes - multitasking can actually serve to your benefit.

Using 10% of our brains

The source of this figure isn't entirely clear.

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Left-brained or right-brained

People used to speak of being left or right-brain dominant (where the left brain is more logical and algorithmic, and the right brain more artistic and intuitive).

However, both hemispheres of your brain are involved in all of the complex work you do. The most effective thinkers are the ones who learn to rely on both their intuitive judgments as well as their reasoning.

Emotions and rational thinking

The theory goes that emotions reflect a more primitive form of thinking and that good thinking is only logical.

However, when faced with risky decisions, it is possible to talk yourself into almost anything. But, even a little anxiety in that situation can provide information too valuable to ignore.

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Eight glasses of water

We should indeed be drinking enough water every day for good overall health. What this amount is, differ from person to person.

There is no scientific evidence that backs up drinking ...

Catch a cold by being cold

You can't catch a cold from being cold.  A virus is responsible for contracting a cold. We become infected with viruses when we are in close quarters with other people infected with a virus.

Cracking your joints can lead to arthritis

Cracking joints do not cause arthritis. Research done found people who crack their joints are at the same risk of getting arthritis than those who don't.

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Set Learning Styles

There’s no research to support learning styles. 

How to really learn: Match your content to the process - students should learn music by listening to music, while students should ...

Rereading Material

How to really learn: Instead of rereading, highlighting, or underlining important information, ask yourself:

  • ‘What is the author trying to say?’ 
  • 'How is this different than other things I’ve read?’ 
  • 'How does this relate to other material I know?’ 
Focusing On One Subject At A Time

When it comes to learning a difficult subject, people often believe you should practice one thing at a time.

How to really learn: Mixing it up, however, is a better approach. In mixed learning, you get a chance to see the core idea below it.

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The philosophy of working "smart"

... is to maximize your productivity when you are working so that you can get more stuff done in shorter periods of time.

By working smarter, you'll find yourself with more time in th...

Find the to-do list app that work for you

The best one for you depends entirely on your working style and personal preferences.

You can use a physical notebook around everywhere you go, but it's easier to use a to-do list app or tool that syncs across all your devices. That way, you can access your to-do items whenever and wherever you need to, whether you're at your desk, in a meeting, or on a business trip.

Prepare in advance

Write out your to-do list the day before:

  • You'll free your time to dive right into your to-do list in the morning - one of the most productive times of day.
  • It can help you spot obstacles ahead of time and prepare accordingly.
  • Knowing what you have going on well in advance could help you relax and sleep better the night before.

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