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Lies We Tell Ourselves About Productivity

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It’s okay, you can admit it. Secretly you just want to laze about some days and get nothing done. But you’re lying to yourself so you can reach that goal.

No one can be an efficient, work-completing machine all day, every day right? We end up telling ourselves little lies to support this claim because really, you can be productive every day and you know it. Some of us spend so much time thinking up ways to get out of finishing a task that we probably could have already completed it in the amount of time spent procrastinating. And we here at The Methodology Blog know exactly what procrastination does to productivity growth. The Business Insider posted an article by Janet Choi that zeroes in on a cold hard truth – you’re lying to yourself. She points out the top 3 lies we tell ourselves to avoid having to be productive. Check them out below along with some of our own thoughts on these deceitful little mind games we play on ourselves.

business improvement consulting on lies

© Flickr user Sebastiaan ter Burg

1. I’m going to catch up later.

This is definitely the most common dishonest thought that crosses many of our minds. You have a huge report due by the end of the week? That’s fine, you can catch up on it tomorrow, right? You have other duties to attend to, anyway. So you put it off today, then maybe the next day, as well. Suddenly, your deadline is looming and you find yourself in panic mode. How could this have happened! You were totally going to catch up later, right? Wrong. Carve out enough time for each task on a daily basis. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you will ever catch up if you continually put things off for tomorrow. Choi points to using the 70% rule which states if you’re at least 70% sure you want to start a task, just dive in.

2. I just don’t have any time.

It’s hard to find enough time in any given day to finish everything. The anxiety that comes from having so much to do before you can finally crash into bed can overwhelm you, so you keep telling yourself this little lie to excuse not getting everything done. In fact, there are ways to get your tasks completed every single day if you learn how to manage time correctly. Because when it comes down to it, time management is productivity. So break out a pen, make a to-do list, and start filling up your calendar. Being able to see where your time is going every day helps you not waste a single moment!

3. I’m productive because I’ve been so busy.

Do you end days feeling absolutely exhausted from how busy you are; yet you still find that you have a mountain of duties to climb the next day? That’s probably because you fill your day with busy work. Maybe you reorganized your desk, sorted out some clutter, and cleaned out your email. But what did that do to chip away at your actual tasks? (You know, the big ones that your company depends on you completing) Sure, it helps to stay organized, but if you exhaust yourself on the little things, you won’t have time to check off to-do list items. Choi has an excellent idea to help nip this issue in the bud:

“Keep a done list where you write down what you get done. Take a pause at the end of the day to reflect on what you got done, rather than focusing on the many things you have left to do.”

This is a fantastic way to keep track of how much time you are spending on tasks and what you are actually accomplishing!

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Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea transplanted from Illinois to South Carolina. She loves to write, read, and spend time with her dog and her family. Alyssa is very active on social media. She has been part of the AccelaWork team since 2013.
Alyssa Shea

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