The Worst Productivity Tips We’ve Ever Heard
Productivity tips are all over the Internet. It’s impossible to get away from them. In fact, a lot of times it might seem counterproductive to be getting this many productivity tips. The articles just proliferate on this popular topic.
Indeed, we have a whole section on our own blog dedicated to the topic of productivity. Maybe we are a part of the problem. Yet, it is also, at times, a contentious topic.
Not all productivity tips are made equal. All articles on productivity should be taken with a grain of salt. In today’s article on productivity, we debunk commonly heard productivity tips, and get to the heart of the matter.
You Shouldn’t Check Your Email At The Start Of Your Day
A popular tip is to organize one’s mornings so that you are in control of the flow of information, instead of the urgencies of others taking hold of your day. Therefore, many “productivity experts” will advise you to not wake up and peer at your phone right away.
They will often bring up the idea that a morning routine that includes reading email, will lead to a derailed day. For example, you might start off checking messages for 15 minutes, but might fall into a rabbit hole of issues and information that ends up making you late for work!
The Truth About Checking Email First Thing In The Morning
If you feel like checking on your messages first thing in the morning, then go ahead and do it! No one should dictate what your morning routine needs to look like. Everyone is different.
Furthermore, if after checking your email, you do feel as though one or some of the messages require an immediate response, then also go for it. However, do keep in mind that email is known to be a slower form of communication. Anything that required a truly immediate response could have been asked over a call or text message.
It’s all a matter of knowing oneself. If you know that you cannot keep yourself from answering even the less important messages right away, then maybe do follow the productivity tips you read online.
You Should Do Your Most Difficult Task First
This is another popular productivity tip because it generally makes sense. However, the most difficult task is also often also the most time-consuming task.
It might also require teamwork, collaboration, and a lot of mental energy. Then, if you have other urgent and quick tasks to attend to, you might actually not have the time to finish them. Consequently, you may have to put in overtime at the end of your day.
The Truth About Difficult Tasks
The truth is that sometimes we do have to tackle the big scary task head-on. However, it doesn’t absolutely need to be at the start of the day. For some people, getting a couple of quick tasks out of the way in the morning gives them the momentum to have a productive day.
Another solution can be to break up the big, tough task into smaller tasks. These should then be planned throughout your day or week. You can potentially even delegate the tasks. This way, your big, difficult-to-do no longer lingers on your list and doesn’t cause you any more anxiety.
You Should Make A To-Do List Every Day
Speaking of to-do lists… This idea of making lists is littered all over every one of the productivity tips articles out there.
Sure, making a list is fun. Indeed, just making the list feels productive. Nevertheless, stressing about making the perfect to-do list every day can be daunting. To try and get all your ideas and objectives on paper every day can in fact be counter-productive.
The Truth About To-Do Lists
Never-ending to-do lists can be overwhelming. It might seem like a great idea to get everything out of your head, but the truth is that we waste a lot of time on making the list. Instead, we could be focusing on actually getting stuff done!
To avoid overwhelming oneself with an overly long to-do list, stick to the most important tasks. And keep your list ordered by categories. Avoid making a list that contains your work tasks and your personal to-dos. Compartmentalizing is key with lists. It’s also important to keep the tasks simple and actionable. Keeping things too general will just make you stress more about all of the steps that need to be accomplished to get that item off of your list.
You Should Avoid Multitasking At All Costs
The trouble with a long list of to-dos is that we will often try to work on many items on the list at once. Some people swear by multitasking, while others don’t believe that it is even possible to multitask well.
In today’s day and age, everyone has a relatively short attention span. Therefore, we are all, at one point or another, attempting to multitask. This, to many productivity gurus, is a faux pas. It’s a fact that multitasks gets a bad rap. If you’re not completely dedicated to a task, you are not completing it to the best ability. Is there any truth to this multitasking myth?
The Truth About Multitasking
It would be hard to completely avoid multitasking in most office environments. It would also be ill-advised to ban multitasking completely, as it can indeed be beneficial to some.
Some studies show that people can be more creative when they can multitask. Some like to work while listening to music. It’s not harmful to their work and even makes their work environment more pleasant. There is no harm in that!
The best advice out there about multitasking is, to be honest with oneself. Determine if you can truly split your attention between the two tasks you are performing. If the honest answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t be multitasking.
Always remember that productivity tips are just that: tips. They are not rules of conduct and you are by no means obliged to follow them. Be creative with your work. Feel out what works for you.