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People have a lot to say about productivity and what it means. Some of it is great advice while others are just plain myths.
In today’s episode, I’m going to debunk some of those productivity myths so that you can go on and be the productive online entrepreneur that I know you can be even if you don’t do all these things.
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(Note: This is a formatted AI-generated transcript to make it easier for you to read through, but is not an optimized blog post. Please excuse any spelling or grammar errors and filler words – it’s just how I speak LOL)
People have a lot to say about productivity and what it means. Some of it is great advice while others are just plain myths. So let’s debunk some of these productivity myths so that you can go on and be the productive online entrepreneur that I know you can be, even if you don’t do all of these things.
Are you ready? Let’s do it.
Hey, I’m Lucy Reyes, your host of the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast, where I’m on a mission to help online entrepreneurs like you focus on all the right things and kiss overwhelm goodbye. Here, you’re going to learn strategies that will boost your productivity so that you can scale your online biz and impact lives sooner.
It’s your time to shine! So let’s get started.
Hey, welcome back to the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast, episode three.
9 Productivity Myths Busted
Today I’m coming in hot. And will be busting a few productivity myths I’ve heard. While there is so much great productivity advice out there, there are also some that are pretty meh.
So my hope with today’s episode is to help you realize that you don’t have to be doing all of these things in order to be productive.
You can definitely get a lot of the right things done and walk away at the end of the day feeling like, huh? Today was pretty productive, without having to do all of these productivity myth advice. Okay. So, all right.
Here are nine productivity myths that I’ve heard and have something to say about them.
The first one is that being busy is the same as being productive.
Now I cover this in episode one so I won’t say too much about it here. But what I will say is that these are definitely not the same thing, but for some reason, people tend to think that a busy calendar is good.
And if they were able to mark off everything from that to-do list, that it was a productive day. Or if you at least got three out of the four things from that list done, then it was a good day.
But what if that fourth thing you missed was actually the most important one and it didn’t get done. In that case, I wouldn’t say that the day was productive after all.
But, like I said, if you want to hear my thoughts about this and more detail, go back and listen to episode one.
Number two. Multitasking is bad.
I got some things to say about this. Okay. So multitasking seems to get a very bad rep in my industry.
However, I think that this is often confused and blurred with task switching which isn’t the same thing.
While multitasking does mean that you’re doing two or more things at once, which if you think about it, we kind of do this all the time.
But more than that in a bit. Task switching means that you are going back and forth between tasks or literally switching from one task to another.
So some examples of multitasking are: doing the laundry while listening to a podcast or breastfeeding while reading emails or watching TV while washing dishes. Those are all examples of multitasking.
But task switching on the other hand, an example, you know, as an online entrepreneur could be, when you’re working on your social media posts.
You a write a caption, then you create a graphic, then you schedule, and then you repeat the process over and over again until you’re done with, let’s say a week of social media posts.
That involves you task switching about four to five times depending on your list of to do’s.
So, if you think about it, we all multitask alllll the time and it’s not always a bad thing, especially if the tasks you’re doing are the ones that may not require much brain power or focus.
It can’t be bad though. When you’re trying to do two or more important tasks at the same time. Or if one of those tasks actually needs your full attention. Like writing a blog post or outlining this podcast episode, for example.
But if this is the case and what you’re trying to do, then it most likely will fall under task switching and not necessarily multitasking. And task switching is definitely something that I advise to avoid.
And why I personally recommend that you batch content whenever possible. But multitasking on its own isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re not trying to do two important things or two things that require your focus at once.
Okay, that’s all I’m going to say about it. And this episode, I’m sure that in the future. I will have a lot more to say about that.
All right. Number three. You have to wake up at 5:00 AM or pretty early.
Now, listen. I have never been a morning person. And even though I am kind of forced to wake up early in the mornings now. Before my daughter was born. I was a straight up night owl and I was more productive working at night then early in the morning.
And honestly, there are studies that show both sides. You’re going to find studies that say that you are most productive in the morning, and then there’s going to be other studies that say you are most productive at night.
And then there’s going to be all kinds of studies telling you what time you are the most productive. But me. I have been productive at both times.
I’ve been productive in the middle of the day. There is honestly no real time that I think anyone can tell you when you are going to be the most productive.
Personally, I know that I’m most productive when I know that I’m going to have a period of time, distraction-free regardless of the time of the day. So in some cases, this is early in the morning. Sometimes it’s from six to 10:00 AM or seven to 10:00 AM.
In other cases it might be at night, like right now, I’m recording this episode late at night after the kids and the husband are in bed and I have been both ends and you can be too, but that is how
I personally base my productivity levels, it’s based on when I know I’m about to not have any distractions. So I am going to make myself get focused and the same could be true for you too.
You can be just as productive at night or in the morning. Everyone is different and you know yourself best. But, I will say that being well rested is even more important than the time of the day, because you can have all of the time in the world, distraction-free but if you’re feeling tired, you’re not going to get much done anyways.
So rest up because that’s going to be even more important than the time of the day.
Now number four. You should get dressed before starting to work. I know. That you have heard this one before. And maybe you’re one that believes this is true. But here’s what I have to say about it.
This is purely a personal preference impacted by your own mindset. People say that getting dressed may make you feel good and others say that it triggers your brain into knowing that it’s work mode.
And this could be very true for many of you. But it doesn’t mean that if you’re not dressed, that you’re automatically going to be less productive.
It’s all a matter of how you choose to approach the day along with other things you do throughout to help make productivity a reality for you.
For example, I most of the time, I would say maybe four out of five times out of the week, probably even more, I work in my pajamas. I love working in my pajamas or at minimum, some loungewear, a t-shirt. I even record my reels in my t-shirt because that is what I’m normally wearing.
Yes. Sometimes I’ll, you know, get dolled up and by dolled up. I mean, throwing on eyeliner and a little bit of mascara. That is my version of getting dolled up.
But for the most part, I don’t like working in jeans and I hated it when I had to go to the corporate office and get dressed. I mean, I liked, you know, getting into my heels and looking cute, but that didn’t really make me be productive.
You can be productive in whatever outfit, whatever loungewear, whatever t-shirt or slacks or jeans, whatever you choose to wear. It’s not really going to impact your work, unless that is how you have trained your mind to believe.
And if that’s the case, then that’s perfectly okay. But if you’re one that’s kind of sitting at your desk and you are wearing slacks and a nice button up shirt, because you think that, okay, because I’m dressed and I showered before I started working that I am going to be more productive, even though I’m not comfortable.
No, that you can train your mindset to kind of go back to, I can be productive no matter what I’m wearing. Okay. So, yeah, that’s all I’m going to say about that for right now.
And just know that I’m going to keep working it in my loungewear and still be just as productive as some of the most productive gurus out there that share this advice.
Related Post: 3 Blogging Truths You Need to Believe to Succeed
All right. Myth number five. You should follow the same routine schedule each day.
While I’m a huge believer in routines, I also don’t want you to get caught up or stressed out when you miss a routine task or you’re unable to follow it in order.
Having routines is definitely important but following the exact same routine in the exact same order every single day can set unrealistic expectations from ourselves.
The reason is because as an adult, you have other priorities and other things going on at all times. So while it’s good to try to follow our routine as best as possible, you should also be mindful of which routine tasks matter over others and prioritize getting those done instead.
For example, my morning routine consists primarily of two tasks. Journaling, prepping my coffee and then I dive right into work.
This is an addition to my daughter, waking up to nurse at some point before going back to sleep, my husband and son talking to me before heading out on a school day, etc.
All of this, which happens at different times. So if I was a stickler for my routine schedule, then I would be so annoyed or irritated by this. And that would kind of cause the mood for the rest of the day.
So instead allow life to happen and stick to your routines as best as possible, but try not to worry about the order in which they happen.
Related Post: How To Build Disruptions Into Your Daily Routine
Myth number six. Now, this one is one that I heard recently and it gave me a little chuckle. So myth number six is make your bed before heading out to work or having a messy desk will make you less productive.
Both are along the lines of having a disorganized physical location near you and making you less productive. Both of which I say nah to.
Because having a clutter-free workspace or home doesn’t really have much to do with your productivity and much less your digital and business organization. At the same time, being organized isn’t the same thing as not being messy. You can be both and still be productive.
I know that sounds like it’s clashing, but it’s really not, okay. Because to be organized, it means you have to have some sort of structure and some systematic way. And a person’s desk could be super messy, but if they know where everything is and then that’s completely okay.
Besides, one could live in the cleanest and most organized home, but could still have a hard time finding or remembering where things are and have a hard time finding something.
And in this instance, that situation wouldn’t be a productive one after all. So, no. Organization does not mean clean or neat.
However, if you’re one who thrives in a clean and neat work environment, then do what’s best for you. And if you’re one that has a messy desk, but spends a handful of minutes, shuffling through paper clutter trying to find that one thing… then perhaps it’s time to clean it up a bit.
But if your clutter minds, you no business. then keep doing you too.
Myth number seven. Systems are inflexible. No, they are not.
However, I can see where this is coming from and I get it putting your life or business into a system just makes it feel so structured. Perhaps a little bit too much structured and you worry that you can actually do more harm than good.
But that’s why it’s so important to identify what type of systems make the most sense for you and your business, and why I teach and preach to intentionally create your systems with flexibility and mind so that you have space for a life to just happen.
Go back and listen to episode two if you haven’t already to learn a bit more about strategic systems.
But basically, systems are incredibly important if you want to grow a successful online business. So get started on these sooner rather than later.
Myth number eight: do your least favorite things first or more so, when to do certain types of tasks within a certain period.
And I chuckle because there are literally so many myths centered around this and by this I mean, when one should do what. Some say, do your least favorite thing first and others say, do all the critical tasks at the end of the day.
And then there’s the exact opposite where it says do all the important tasks first, but you know what I say?
If you were listening and you’re heard myth number three about having to wake up early in the morning, then you should have an idea because this is a very similar concept.
But my take on this is that you should do whatever is best for you. And there isn’t a right or wrong time to do certain things.
As much as we wish there was one, there’s no one size fits all magic formula. We are each individual human beings with uniquely wired brains who work differently.
Everyone has different definitions for what is important or critical. And at the same time, just because something is important, it doesn’t mean that it deserves your attention during your most productive hours.
Now there are actually several different strategies and methods on how you can approach scheduling your tasks so we won’t cover them in this episode. But just know that there isn’t really a right or wrong time to do things.
And lastly, myth number nine, working more means that you’ll get more done. Yeah, no. Please don’t do this as it’s only going to lead to burnout. Okay?
You can truly, truly, truly do less and achieve more and reach your goals quicker and make more money sooner.
All of those things can be true at the same time and actually, if you are doing more, that means that you’re getting more tired because you’re getting less rest, which then trickles onto your mind creating less focus when you work, which actually makes you less productive.
So no, you should not be working more. Instead, you should be focusing on your priorities and you should even be setting clear work hour boundaries so that way, you know when to start and when to stop.
You need to take breaks. You need to spend time away from your desk and with your family and doing all the things that you love.
These are all things you should be doing. Just because you are ambitious and you need to make this business succeed, or this business is your baby and you want to give it your all… you still need to take time away.
In fact, taking time away helps you whenever you come back because you gave your brain a break.
And when you come back, you’re coming back with a fresh mind. You could be coming back with new ideas and more creativity. So yes. Take time apart from your laptop. Okay?
Don’t let this hustle culture mentality fool you. Just because you work more doesn’t mean you’ll get ahead and actually means nothing if you’re working more on the wrong things.
So it’s time to kiss hustle culture goodbye, and instead be intentional with your valuable time. That’s all I’m going to say about that, but please, if there’s anything you’d take away from today’s episode, it’s that it’s okay for you to take breaks. Okay?
Nothing bad is going to happen to your business if you just can’t. If you just can’t post today, if you miss publishing that blog post, or you forgot to email because something happened, it’s okay. All right?
I was about to get on my soap box there, but no, this already has gone on a little bit longer than I wanted. So, whew. That was a lot. So let’s recap.
The nine productivity myths busted in today’s episode are one, being busy is the same as being productive. No, it’s not. Go back and listen to episode one if you need to learn more about that.
Myth number two, multitasking is bad. No multitasking and task switching get confused a lot and they’re not the same thing. So go back and listen to my thoughts on that if you need to.
Myth number three, you have to wake up at 5:00 AM or pretty early. No, you don’t. You can be a night owl and still be productive.
Myth number four, you should get dressed before starting to work. Nope. I work in my pajamas and lounge shorts and a t-shirt almost all the time and you can too.
Myth number five, you should follow the same routine or order each day. Nope. Life happens. Just focus on which routine tasks are the most important and get them done, but the order doesn’t matter.
Myth number six, make your bed or clean your desk before getting to work. No, not really. Organization and being neat and tidy don’t mean the same thing.
Myth number seven. Systems are inflexible. Actually they help give you more flexibility into your life. If you create them strategically.
Myth number eight, do your least favorite thing first. Hmm, actually this one had like three different myths because they all have their own recommendations and they’re all wrong, at least in my opinion they are.
And lastly, working more means you’ll get more done. No, no, it doesn’t. Take a break whenever you need to. Okay.
Now to wrap up this episode, I’m super curious that you believe any of these myths or have you heard others not mentioned? I really want to know.
I’m so interested in hearing your thoughts about everything we shared in today’s episode. So reach out to me on Instagram at @cheerstoblogging. Send me a dm and let me know.
Thank you so much for listening to Cheerful Productive Chats with me, Lucy Reyes. To view the complete show notes and all the links mentioned in today’s episode, visit www.cheerstoproductivity.com/episode3.
And before you go, make sure you subscribe wherever you’re listening so you know once the next productive chat is released. Talk soon and cheers to your productivity and success!
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