No matter how large or small your organization is, your productivity matters. Being productive allows you and your team (if you have one) to stay competitive. You probably already have a few tips and tricks for keeping your productivity levels high. However, is it possible that you could be acting on bad intel? Sorry to deliver the bad news, but yes. In fact, the average American worker tends to overestimate their own productivity by 11%.
Why do Americans think they’re more productive than they really are? It’s because they have a warped idea of what productivity actually means. Here are five myths you’ve probably been buying about how to stay productive, which have probably just prevented you from doing your best work.
1. You do your best work at the office.
A lot of people think that working from home or allowing your team members to work remotely will impair your productivity. They reason that you’ll be more prone to distraction, and that there will be no way to hold you accountable. However, there’s a lot of evidence to the contrary. According to research from Gallup, workers who spend 60% to 80% of their time doing remote work actually have the highest engagement levels.
2. You can sleep when you’re dead.
The idea of the 24-hour employee has been around for years, but being “always on” can actually mean you’re always off. Harvard University conducted a study that found 63.2 billion dollars are lost each year due to simple sleep deprivation. The implications of this data are clear: your job shouldn’t require you to work through evenings, weekends, or late into the night (and you shouldn’t ask anyone under you to do it either, unless you like lackluster performance for some reason).
3. You perform better under pressure.
Another fantasy pedaled by countless finance bros who never got over the end of the Reagan-era 80s is that true go-getters do better when they’re constantly under pressure to perform. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to Willis Towers Watson, stress is the number one health concern in the workplace. People disagree about what causes the most stress in any given professional environment, but they’re adamant about one key point: it definitely isn’t helping anybody.
4. You don’t need technology; you’ve got elbow grease!
Many people blame their workers for not meeting deadlines or completing work according to their satisfaction, but refuse to provide them with the tools that would allow them to hit their targets. Remember: no organisation exists in a vacuum. Your competitors are more than likely investing in high-end project management tools, so you should as well. A successful project management platform will be able to keep track of tasks you perform on a regular basis, allow you to communicate seamlessly with members of your organization, and may even provide you with additional tools such as built-in invoicing.
5. Hard work should come before raises, not the other way around.
If you’re in charge of a team of people, you probably subscribe to the idea that you should only raise their wages in exchange for work that is practically superhuman. While rewarding your employees for excellent work can certainly be incentivizing, it’s also critical to keep in mind that failing to raise your employees wages as their cost of living goes up over time can be extremely detrimental, and not just to them. Already, nearly one third of workers are so stressed out about their finances that it damages their ability to focus and do productive work, according to Bank of America. Here’s what that means for you: if people you hired two years ago are still making the same rate as when they joined your team but their work isn’t improving, it’s probably time you gave them a raise.
Understanding these productivity myths and knowing how to deal with them can make your work (or that of our organization) a great deal more efficient. Refer to this guide often, and make sure you’re not falling victim to any of the wrongheaded ideas on this list!