Which Productivity Myths Have Been Debunked?


    Which Productivity Myths Have Been Debunked?

    In the quest to boost workplace efficiency, we've gathered insights from coaches and managers to shatter common productivity myths. From the perspective of a Life and Relationship Coach debunking the need for non-stop activity to a Life Redesign Coach advocating for progress over perfection, explore these six transformative revelations that challenge conventional wisdom.

    • Purposeful Pauses Enhance Productivity
    • Beliefs Influence Productivity Levels
    • Stress Does Not Equal Success
    • Multitasking Reduces Efficiency
    • Curiosity Fosters Productivity
    • Progress Over Perfection Boosts Output

    Purposeful Pauses Enhance Productivity

    You don't always need to be constantly productive. In fact, giving yourself a consciously planned pause will give you the energy to be able to thrust again. The key is to do it purposefully and not wait until you have completely burned yourself out. Understanding the cycle of thrust and pause will boost your energy and productivity.

    Wendy Lynne
    Wendy LynneLife and Relationship Coach

    Beliefs Influence Productivity Levels

    Productivity is mainly related to a person's 'belief programming.' Even though a person knows the principles of being productive, this does not necessarily mean they will be productive if they have conscious or unconscious sabotaging beliefs operating.

    Kathleen Fors
    Kathleen ForsCEO, CoachingPLUS

    Stress Does Not Equal Success

    The myth that constant stress is a necessary ingredient for success is deeply ingrained in much of modern self-help and productivity culture. This belief suggests that if you're not always pushing yourself to the limit, you're not doing enough. However, my coaching experience has taught me that this relentless pursuit of productivity through stress is not only misleading but harmful. Stress, while it can be a motivator in short bursts, often leads to decreased productivity over time due to burnout, anxiety, and decreased mental health.

    The real key to sustained productivity and success lies in finding a balance between focused work and restorative downtime. Encouraging a mindset shift away from glorifying stress toward prioritizing well-being and mindful work practices has consistently shown to improve both productivity and happiness in the long term. It’s high time we debunk the toxic narrative that stress is a badge of honor and embrace a more holistic approach to productivity that values mental health as much as outputs.

    Tom Riley
    Tom RileySenior SEO Manager, Zego

    Multitasking Reduces Efficiency

    The myth: Multitasking and trying to check everything off the to-do list as quickly as possible is going to make you most productive.

    The truth: The worst thing you can do is try to work on multiple tasks at once and do so as quickly as possible.

    Why that doesn't work is quite simple:

    As soon as we try to work on multiple tasks, we get stressed - that is just unavoidable. We were not meant to focus on several different things at once. And we actually aren't able to. What multitasking essentially is, is switching from one thing to another - back and forth, back and forth.

    When we are stressed, we go into tunnel vision, where our brain shuts down creative thinking. It's impossible to develop sustainable solutions for problems in that state. We are only able to think about the current “threat” (which could be an email or task) and try to get rid of it as quickly as possible. So the decisions coming out of that state won't be sustainable but very short-sighted.

    Additionally, when we are stressed, making mistakes is unavoidable. Going back and having to fix those mistakes is what will cost you much more time long-term.

    So it is crucial to fight the urge to speed up and do several tasks at once.

    What to do instead?

    Do the opposite.

    The more you are in a time crunch, the more you have to be mindful and focus on staying out of fight-or-flight mode. You simply don't have the time not to do it.

    So to maximize your productivity, you have to focus on one task at a time, avoid any distractions during that time until you finish it. Stay present and mindful, and notice your thoughts drifting off to different topics and bring them back until you finish the task. Ground yourself over and over by feeling into your body. Notice you’re being held by the chair and feel your feet staying on the ground.

    Practicing meditation will help you tremendously to get in control of your own thoughts and catch yourself losing focus. Additionally, it can also help to tell yourself when you feel getting stressed: “My mind is trying to make me think I’m in danger, but it’s an illusion. I am just writing an email. I am safe, no threats to my safety in sight.”

    After completing the task or subtask, give yourself a little break and mindfully switch to the next task. Counting down between tasks (5, 4, 3, 2, 1, next) will help you to stay mindful during your work and avoid your day blurring into one big stressful blob.

    Irina Palatai
    Irina PalataiCoach for personal developement, Irina Palatai Coaching

    Curiosity Fosters Productivity

    There is no set rubric for life, people, or business. People are not a paint-by-numbers paradigm, and often, neither is a success formula. We live in a society that is rapidly waking up to understand we no longer have to 'follow the leader' simply because that's how we were socialized, raised, or managed. We all have something to offer. Restrictive dichotomous thinking that postures absolutes creates unstable codependency and discourages original thought. It sours the zest for exploration of new methods to reach a desired result, and deflates possibility—not to mention progress. The myth that, because something has always been approached in a certain way, makes it 'right' or is the only productive way of doing things, is riding off into the proverbial sunset on the horse-and-buggy carriage it rode in on. We grow through curious analysis and brave application of how well we observe, listen, and learn. There is no one way of being, nor is there one way to productivity, but there is always willingness and the refreshing curiosity for exploration of process.

    Shannon M Schultz-Wooten
    Shannon M Schultz-WootenOntological Authenticity Coach, Life with Shannon, LLC.

    Progress Over Perfection Boosts Output

    Perfectionism Drives Productivity: While attention to detail is crucial, striving for perfection in every task can hinder productivity. Embracing a mindset of progress over perfection allows for more efficient completion of tasks. Giving room for others to show their intelligence, rather than shoving one's way of performing tasks on them, will also create room for development.

    Oluwaferanmi Adigun
    Oluwaferanmi AdigunLife Redesign Coach, ConnectPartners