As we start the new year, we will see a lot of talk about productivity. Depending on your feelings about what you’ve come across, your feelings on it will range from a fundamental success tenet to an infuriating buzzword. While we acknowledge the importance of productivity in the success equation, we are willing to concede that the conversation around productivity has come with many myths. Myths we would like to discuss these today and encourage people to reconsider.
Events over processes
The first myth focuses on events rather than processes. While events tend to confirm our achievements, we should never forget that there are processes behind these events, and they matter. So next time you feel like you have done nothing, remember to count your work in progress as part of your productivity.
Consistency over intensity
The second myth says consistency is better than intensity. Both are important, and intensity has its place in life alongside consistency. Sometimes you need those intense sessions to achieve the most. You cannot rely solely on small, consistent efforts; there are times when going big is what you need.
Motivation leads to action
Motivation is, believe it or not, unnecessary for getting results. Think about this, if you and I did the same task in the same way, even though one of us was motivated and the other was not, we would get the same results. In fact, one of the master disciplines of productivity is the ability to do the work without motivation.
Hustle culture is bad
There’s a great article we published about why Hustle Culture is Toxic. People have gone on to misunderstand its message and deduce that hustling is bad. However, hustling is part of the success equation. The important thing is to balance the hustling with other vital parts of the success equation.
Productivity vs self-care
From the myth about hustle culture, we can also look at how productivity has been viewed as something antagonistic to self-care, and nothing could be further from the truth. In contrast, self-care is associated with caring for our physical and mental health. Take the example of a student that puts off doing an assignment until the last minute. On the other end of the spectrum, a student who chooses productivity and does the work early on is actually closer to practising self-care. Sometimes being productive is the best form of self-care.
You can do everything
There is not enough time in the day to do everything you need, let alone what you want to do. Productivity isn’t really about doing everything that could possibly be done. Productivity is about doing the right things. So it’s not about doing everything that matters but the most important things. The Eisenhower matrix is one of the best tools for determining those things.
I don’t have time
In an earlier article, we discussed how time should be managed, like money. One thing that never ceases to amaze us is how people who say they can never find money to save manage to find money to waste. It’s roughly the same with time management. However, time isn’t made but created. You have to accept that to make time for a new thing; you will have to drop something that has been occupying that time all along.
Everything must be perfect
You often hear people saying they will start work as soon as they complete their morning routine or have everything in place. Do we really need to have a second cup of coffee before starting work? Is it essential to scroll twitter before we look at our list of tasks? You may also hear people say they work best under pressure to excuse procrastination on a task with a deadline. It’s all the same in that they are rituals that people conduct before working that do not really contribute to the work.
Small things don’t matter
Most tips on productivity focus on philosophical or strategic matters, such as how you organise your work or what you choose to work on in the first place. These are the big things. While these are important, it doesn’t mean the small things aren’t necessary. You can imagine that someone with a faster typing speed will do better at a job that involves creating reports or writing things out. So you should also spend time improving the small things.
These 9 productivity myths have held many back from achieving the results they could. Can you relate to some of these existing in your life or perhaps that of a friend?