These Myths Can Ruin Your Productivity

There are tons of productivity myths out there, but contrary to most myths these 5 can cost you a lot of time.

You Need 8 Hours of Sleep a Night

There’s no magic amount of hours. Your sleep need depends on your age, health and efforts to improve your sleep.

There are extreme people who sleep 4 hours/night, and some who don’t even sleep at night; instead taking naps during the day. 

Multitasking Makes You More Productive

Stop answering emails while eating and watching a video. You just feel like you do much, when in reality your brain can’t focus on more than one thing at once. The thing we call multitasking is just rapid task switching.

That switch costs. Research shows that it can cost up to 40% of someone’s productive time. A study concluded that multitasking increases stress, errors and forces redoing of terrible work.

Organizing Your Email into Folders is Productive

IBM Researchers studie345 people performing 80 000 email actions. They wanted to know what was fastest; searching for emails or organizing it to folders. Their conclusion? It took 66 seconds to search, but only 73 seconds to find it in a folder.

And those seconds don’t account for the time spent sorting emails. The same study found that 10% of the average email’s users time is spent filing messages. Stop organizing and start searching.

It Takes 21 Days to Form a Habit

In the book Psycho-Cybernetics the author states that it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit. It has transformed into “it takes 21 days to form a habit”.

study found that it takes 18-254 days to form a new habit, with the average 66. It’ll probably take longer than 21 days, sorry. 

Waking Up Early Makes You More Productive

There’s no difference in socioeconomic standing between people waking up early and people waking up later. The myth feels true because you do things while everyone else’s asleep, but work is work.  

study (yes, I like studies) found that we should work at hours when we have the most energy. If you’re an early bird, wake up early. If you’re a night owl, sleep to noon and work until midnight. 

Thanks for reading, and have an awesome day! 


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  • Zan

    I love how you link each study you mention, it makes it just so much more credible and I can satiate my curiosity instantly if I wonder about the study in itself(please don’t stop doing that)
    -Zan