Five Productivity Myths Busted
a widely held but false belief or idea.
There are so many false beliefs and ideas about productivity. Let’s take the time to bust them wide open and get to the truth. Productivity myths can hold us back. They stop us from linking back into the true reality of our work. Breaking them down sets us free. Here are a few myth busters…
43 folders-It’s new! The newest, greatest productivity tip is out there and you have to try it. Truth be told, many productivity techniques have all been recycled and refurbished. The cool 43 folders technique is just a new name for an old concept. Also known as the tickler file. It’s been around since the turn of the century-last century. Tickler files were used in law offices in the late 1800’s to keep up with the pending work they had to do, it allowed the user to manage tasks and keep papers organized.
You have folders that represent each day of the month 1-31 and folders for each month January-December. Each time you need to be reminded to do a task you add it to the folder of the day you need to work on the task. When that day rolls around you open the folder and you know what you need to follow up on.
Set it and forget it-Great for a slow cooker, not a great adage for work. Whatever system you put in place you can’t set it and forget it. You have to work the system for the system to work for you. If it’s paper or an app you must check it regularly. If it’s a Contact Management System that keeps track of customers or a way to track your actions if you don’t use it, you will lose it-customers, revenue, your reputation.
We will receive paperwork, emails, voicemails, texts with no assistance. All of it will pile up. It will not leave or have resolve without our effort. Instead of set it and forget it, you need to take action on it and move actions forward in a system that you trust.
You should only touch a piece of paper once-This is great advice for using a tissue during flu season but not at your desk. It’s unrealistic that you’ll come across a document once, it would find its rightful place and never picked up again. Parameters like that can stress you out. Know that as your working on a project, you may come across multiple documents to get it to completion. When paper and documents on your desk or on your computer are difficult to find then go about changing the way that you work.
There’s an app for that-Yes, there is an app for just about everything from turning on your lights to capturing thoughts and ideas. Technology will not save you if you don’t have the habit in place. You need to master the habit and change you want to create, then find the technology to support that habit.
I’ve seen people choose both at the same time, there is a learning curve with our behavior change, there is a learning curve with the technology. People get frustrated and abandon both.
I’ll get more work done if I just push through-Study after study has proven that you need to take breaks throughout the workday. To get to a clear decision or to plan, you need to be well rested.
A whole week’s vacation! Imagine getting back to work refreshed and excited to be at work. That’s what a good long break away from work will do for you.
I don’t know what the meeting is about, I’d better go to it-If you receive a meeting request with no agenda, if you’ve been asked to a meeting but don’t know why–It’s going to be a time waster. Make sure you understand the ways you can contribute to the meeting. Make sure you are prepared by reviewing the agenda and any documents that correspond to it. Don’t just go to go. Understand the meeting’s objectives and goals so that you can contribute thoughtfully or else it’s going to be a time waster.
Myths can play out in the way we do things and be detrimental to the way we work. What things can you change to make your work more truthful and exciting? What myths do you need to bust in your office?
Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach with Wave Productivity. She works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. She coaches nationally by phone and in person in Phoenix, Providence and Boston. If you want to get more organized in your office call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected].