Guest Posts

The Problem with Productivity Tips

Written by: Michael Deane

No matter how many cups of coffee you drink, you cannot stay equally productive the entire day or week. So what can you do to stay productive?

Increasing productivity is one of the primary concerns of the age we live in. To do more in less time. Employers want us to be more productive, we want to be more productive, and there is an abundance of blog posts which provide seemingly easy tips for increasing productivity. But the reality is – easier said than done. 

The problem are not the tips, it’s the fact that we are not all the same. As individuals, we are motivated by different things and have different work habits. Therefore, we cannot possibly apply the same tips with equal success. Some people find these tips to be quite useful while others struggle to apply them. 

In this article, we will go through the problem with the common productivity tips and provide a few alternative options.

Don’t Follow Every Productivity Advice

In a desperate attempt to find good productivity tips to boost your performance, you have undoubtedly come across one of the most popular ones: the work on your most important task first tip. The problem with this tip is that you cannot always apply it. In fact, if your most important task for the day is comprehensive and challenging, that might take the entire day. This means that you would spend the entire day working on a single task so you can’t complete any of the smaller tasks you have. You might end up feeling a bit down. 

A much better tactic could be tackling a few smaller tasks first and after you successfully complete them and feel great as a result, you will be ready to start working on your biggest task. 

The “Get Up Early” Tip Is Not Applicable to Everyone

This is another popular productivity tip you have doubtlessly heard before. Usually, these so-called productivity gurus seem to all agree that you should get up as early as possible in order to get everything done for that day. But there are several problems with this tip.

First of all, not all of us go to bed early. Some of us feel more productive at night. For example, if you are a writer who enjoys working at night, you couldn’t possibly apply the get up at 5 am tip successfully. First of all, if you’re used to going to sleep late, you wouldn’t be able to fall asleep on time. You won’t feel energised, you won’t be productive, and you won’t get things done.

Some people cannot get used to going to bed at 10 pm no matter how hard they try. You should try to use your most productive period instead even if it means sleeping longer in the morning. You should not force yourself into changing your routine completely. Don’t follow popular tips just because they are popular and worked on someone you know. Focus on other tips that can help you boost productivity. Find the best tips for your type of personality. If getting up at 5 am doesn’t make you feel more productive and you would feel better if you slept a while longer, do just that.

People hangout together at coffee shop

You Don’t Need to Create a Long To-Do List and Extensive Schedule

Productivity pros often stress how important it is to create a comprehensive to-do list, a schedule for that day, and then deal with the tasks ahead of you. 

This might be problematic because putting everything you have to do on a piece of paper can actually slow you down. It can be overwhelming to see the long list of tasks you need to handle. You might find yourself lost and without any idea where to start. Besides, you will waste a significant amount of time creating a list and a detailed schedule every single day.

An alternative would be to list the urgent tasks only, the tasks you have to prioritise. That way, you will have fewer tasks on the list so you won’t feel overwhelmed. You can easily set up such priority columns for you and your team using Eylean Board.

Outsource Tasks

Here’s one tip that will definitely help you. If you are struggling with productivity and there is a task that you really dread completing, then consider outsourcing it. Whether you don’t have the time for it or the task is so complex that you dread starting, outsourcing it to someone is just what you need. You can outsource things like calls, emails, proofreading, booking flights and accommodation, your accounting, etc. Anything you find you don’t really want to be dealing with. 

Someone else will get the job done for you, you will be spared the trouble, and you will get to focus on other things that you’re better at. It’s a win-win. 

Instead of blindly following the popular productivity tips, find your own technique that helps you be more productive. And don’t forget to reward yourself with something small after completing an important task. 

About the author:

Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.

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