5 Productivity Myths and What To Do To Create A Better Work/Life Balance

Between the pressure we put on ourselves and the pressure we are put under by others, some of us are finding each and every day a constant hustle. Whether you’re working 9-5 or juggling multiple jobs, we are all guilty of overwhelming ourselves to ensure we get everything done. I’m sure everyone can relate to staying behind, skipping a lunch break, or checking emails after hours. While the hustle culture was touted as the way forward- what we have been left with is a society on the brink of burnout.

Donna McGeorge is a best-selling author and has offered her top advice on how to break down a few misconceptions you probably have about “hard work” and how to get some balance back into your life.

1. ‘Do the hardest task first.’
For anyone that needs a big amount of coffee and a few quiet hours to get started on a Monday morning, you’ll be happy to hear that you shouldn’t be doing your hardest task first thing on a Monday morning.

“The neuroscience has shown us that creating momentum is more important,” she says. “So, do a few things that are easy, doable, and that you can tick off early, as it creates a feeling of momentum throughout the day.”

“Creating a pattern of completion or achievement sets off neurotransmitters that will make you feel more motivated to continue, regardless of the difficulty or level of desire.”

2. ‘Working hard will make you successful.’
As the old saying goes- productivity is all about working smarter, not harder.

“Instead of working hard, we want to talk about being in flow,” McGeorge says.  “If you reflect on your most productive days, they were usually when you were doing things in flow, doing the right things, and it didn’t feel hard. So, identify the two or three things that will make a real difference in your day and do those.”

Once your ‘flow tasks’ are up, take your foot off the accelerator. “It’s about identifying what’s most important, doing those things first, and having a state of flow throughout the day rather than feeling like you’re working hard.”

3. ‘You should give 100% of your effort, 100% of the time.’
You have permission- you need to stop giving 100 per cent of your energy to your workday.

According to Donna, working at full capacity is a recipe for burnout and missed opportunities, and there’s a very easy way to cut back on your workload. “Studies have shown that people operate more consistently at about 85 per cent capacity,” she says. “If you think about your calendar, you should be leaving at least 1-2 hours free from meetings. Create that buffer for yourself to catch up on work, or to take advantage of an opportunity.”

By allowing for a 15 per cent buffer in your day you’ll work at a more consistent, lower pace throughout the day instead of a frantic rush.

4. ‘Daydreaming is unproductive.’
According to McGeorge, we should all be scheduling time in our days to stare into space, and let our imaginations take over for a moment.

“We need to be daydreaming to access our alpha brainwaves, and this is where our creativity lives. “I always pay attention to the first thoughts that happen in my head, first thing in the morning, because that’s usually coming via alpha brainwaves. “The only way you can get access to those alpha brainwaves is a single point of focus – so things like meditation, yoga and daydreaming. Just sit and stare into space for five or 10 minutes, and you’ll get solutions that you hadn’t really thought possible.”

5. ‘To do lists will keep you on track.’
It turns out, long to-do lists “usually leads to feelings of overwhelm and inadequacy,” which makes a lot of sense.

“If you’re going to create a list, you should write your tasks down and carve them up according to the best time of day, McGeorge says. “The mornings are better for mental alertness, so things that require a little more mental intensity should happen in the morning. The afternoon is better for routine work.”

Scrunch that to-do list up and throw out the window; try lining your tasks up to your circadian rhythms and watch the productivity flow.

By implementing all or some of these ideas, hopefully you can achieve a greater balance in your work life or try to manage burnout.

Source: https://www.mamamia.com.au/productivity-myths/

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