3 Productivity Myths BustedNov 15, 2021
What do you believe about productivity that is keeping you from being the most productive version of yourself?
In this article, I'm going to bust through three common myths when it comes to productivity.
Myth #1: being busy is being productive.
You can be busy and be productive, but it doesn't mean you're being productive just because you're busy. Think about this: how many times have you been busy doing something? Maybe you're looking at your email, scrolling through social media, or adjusting the font on your website? You're busy but are these activities needle-moving?
I would argue that when you are busy being productive, you're doing those activities that are going to move the needle like writing a blog post, creating a podcast episode, creating a YouTube video, writing your book, or learning how to do your craft better.
Take email. I only check my email once or twice a day. I don't leave the tab open on my computer. And I certainly don't have email notifications enabled on my phone. Why? It could become a rabbit trail as I go through my email inbox.
Remember, you can be busy and be productive. But just because you're busy, doesn't mean you are productive.
Myth #2: there's only one way to be productive.
There's a reason why there's not just one productivity expert. There are many. And we all have our way of teaching. What you need to do is figure out a way that works for you.
I work from home and live with my wife, and we're empty-nesters. We do have a 47-pound, three-and-a-half-year-old dog, but that's it. If you have kids, a spouse, your in-laws living with you, and you're homeschooling your kids, well, your way of being productive is going to be completely different than mine.
Look at your situation and determine how you can be productive. Educate yourself on how to be productive. Pick out the ways that work for you, and then do.
Myth #3: You can't watch TV, play video games, hang out with your friends, or have fun.
You can be productive and have fun. I encourage you to do both. Can you imagine if the only thing you did all day, all week, all month, all year was work, work, work, work? I think that that would be boring. You need to have fun. You need to watch sporting events, or go to the movies or hang out with your friends. Why? You need to be productive when you need to, and then you need to step back and do something fun. Or maybe you don't do anything. Just sit on your porch and relax. Being productive does not mean you have to be doing something.
Bonus myth #1: you have to get up before the sun.
A lot of people swear by getting up before the sun. Apple CEO Tim Cook gets up at 3:45 in the morning (and immediately checks email; something I don't recommend). Do you have to get up there early? If it works for you, then yes. If it doesn't work for you, then no.
More importantly, I would encourage you to be consistent with what time you go to bed and what time you wake up. I have chosen 10 pm to 6 am as my sleep window. I'm in bed every night by 10 o'clock, usually before that, and I'm up every morning by six o'clock. That's seven days a week; weekends, holidays, vacations.
If getting up before the sun doesn't work for you, then don't. There's no magic getting up before the sun. When you do wake up, actually do productive stuff.
Bonus myth #2: Do the most important thing first thing in the day.
I don't care what time you wake up. If it takes you a few minutes or a few hours to get going, for whatever reason, then don't do your most important thing first thing in the morning. Maybe your prime time is late morning, early afternoon, or perhaps it's after the kids go to bed at night.
I know a lot of people say do the most important thing first. If that works for you, by all means, do that. But if it doesn't, then don't do it.
With all of these myths that I busted through, you need to take a step back and think about how it applies to you. Your situation is different than mine or anyone else's. Having kiddos at home is going to force you to approach your productivity differently than others.
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