If you had to describe how you are in one word, and you’re not using the word “stressed,” what would it be? If that word is busy, we know how you feel. We live and work in an on-demand society with a culture built on the best product/solution, implemented in the shortest amount of time, costing us the least amount of money. We can’t change that, but you can change the way you work. In fact, there are number of productivity lies we’ve been fed (and continue to eat, for each meal) and it’s time to debunk them now.
Myth #1: There’s not enough time in my workday, this needs to be done at home.
We are all probably guilty of doing this and it’s especially hard not to do if you work from home, but you should know when to stop. Yes, there are times when you have to burn that midnight oil, but it shouldn’t be every night. Those who work endless hours, never get a break from work (which is needed to refuel, recharge and get those creative juices flowing). In fact, studies have shown that people who bring their work home with them are actually less productive during the day because they figure that they will just do it later.
Myth #2: I work best under pressure.
Now, you might disagree right off the bat, I know I did at first, but there’s some truth in the fact that we are confusing stress with adrenaline. Instead, try breaking a project or task into smaller pieces and give yourself an earlier deadline— which will actually give you more time to complete the project.
Myth #3: I must accomplish everything on my to-do list.
There’s no escaping your to-do list, but you should be realistic as to what you should put on your daily agenda. Also, and be honest, when you put numerous items on your list— how many of those items do you really put all your time, attention and detail into? When you put too many things on your plate, chances are not every single deliverable is going to 100%. Also, studies have shown that the first “checks” on your to-do list should be made to the most time consuming, focus-needing work.
We have all heard the words “effective time management” in our lives, but not all of us put those three words into action. Being productive is knowing what to focus on first and getting it done and, then, knowing when to unplug. Giving your body and brain time to recover is the only way that you can be on your best game during (standard) business hours.