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5 lies you’ve been told about productivity

There’s a lot out there about productivity and making the most of your work day. We’ve debunked 5 myths on productivity that you’re wasting your time on. Read on.


How being overly productive is counterproductive

Most of what we believe about productivity, isn’t true at all:  Jam packing schedules, and working 24 hours a day, non-stop, are actually counterproductive to maximizing productivity. So we decided to debunk 5 myths, that we think make us more productive, but actually slow us down. Keep reading to stop overworking, maximize productivity, and use your time more efficiently.


1. Myth: More hours= More work done

Most of us think the more hours we put in, the more work we get done. But research shows that work output decreases significantly after a 50-hour work week. Futhermore, those who work more than 70 hours a week, don’t pruduce any more than people who work 55. So, the next time you contemplate sitting at your desk for 70 hours a week, think again; you could actually be losing time.

2. Myth: Easy work first, harder work last

A lot of us like to get our small to-do’s out of the way first, before tackling the harder tasks. But, research suggests, it’s better for us to complete our larger, more difficult tasks first, when we’re at our most creative and prepared. Flip your to-do list around, saving the less-intensive tasks for last, and see if you notice the change!

3. Myth: Multitasking means multi-efficiency

Just because you can take a conference call, respond to emails, and complete data entry all at once, doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. Managing multiple projects can complicate your thought process, and increase the amount of time it takes to complete just one task. Stop making yourself a scatter brain, by prioritizing your to-do list, and focusing on one task at a time.

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4. Myth: Pressure always makes diamonds

This may hold true in the jewelry industry, but not so much in the office. I know a lot of people who believe the more pressure they are under, the easier it is for them to lock in and focus. But in actuality, pressure causes stress that can lead to worrying, lost focus and less productivity. How can you possibly complete a 10 page proposal, when all you can think about is your lack of time or the next task on your to-do list. Rid yourself of unnecessary pressures, by taking breaks, asking for help, and using good time management.

5. Myth: Breaks are your worst enemy

Whenever we get in a slump, we think the best way to solve it, is to just push through our misery, and take a break when we’re done. Research suggests however, that planned breaks can increase learning and development, hence creating a more valuable and final product. This doesn’t mean stop every five minutes to peruse Facebook, instead, get away from your desk, walk around the outside, or walk the stairs and listen to music.

Again, stop overworking yourself like a mad-man, it’s not as effective as you think. Switch up a few of your habits from the afore-mentioned myths, and you’ll see the change your productivity in no time!


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Written By

Lauren Flanigan is a Staff Writer at The American Genius, hailing from the windy hills of Cincinnati, with a degree in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati. She has escaped the hills, and currently resides in Atlanta, where you can almost always find her camping at a Starbucks strategizing on how to take over the world.



  1. Fred Moore

    January 7, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Great artitcle and totaly agree with each and every one of these “lies”.

    Studies have show (I hate that phrase) that multi-tasking actually cuts down on your productivity because you’re really just switching back and forth from task to task.

  2. Doug Kevilus

    March 5, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    The one that always seems to pop up is the “multi-tasking” myth. I’ll call them myths instead of lies, because I don’t think anyone is intentionally trying to mislead you. Myths and legends are those things that have been changed so much that their meaning now, isn’t close to what it was originally.

    I do an activity with my audiences that shows multi-tasking actually slows you down from accomplishing 2 tasks at the same time. Doing them one at a time and the time it takes decreases dramatically.

    • Lani Rosales

      March 16, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Fascinating observations, Doug, and very helpful! Thanks!

  3. Pingback: Scientists say your staff is starting work at the wrong time and it's killing their productivity - The American Genius

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