As a small business owner, there is a constant pressure to always be productive. There’s always something you need to get done. There is always a need from someone or something that you have to address. More accurately, there are several someones or somethings that require your attention.
As a result, entrepreneurs have built a culture of constant productivity as the norm. But is it really the most effective approach? We’re taking a look at a few myths about productivity.
Productivity Myth #1: “I Have To Multitask”
Many people consider multitasking to be a positive characteristic in an entrepreneur. However, what we call multitasking really isn’t addressing more than one task at once. What you are actually doing is switching your attention from one task to another – which leads to neither of them getting completed to your best standard. Even worse, you wind up stressed and burnt out on a regular basis.
Instead of multitasking, set priorities for you day. What tasks are most important? What do you have to finish that day? Time blocking is also an effective productivity method. Schedule yourself windows of time to work on specific tasks, and nothing else.
Productivity Myth #2: “Everything is Urgent”
As a small business owner, it may feel like you have to take on everything at once. However, this can lead to feeling overwhelmed and pulled in too many directions. Just like multitasking, chasing too many ‘fires’ can leave you being ineffective in fixing any of them.
Again, set your priorities. Be honest with yourself about what you can accomplish. Set no more than three main priorities to accomplish that day. Once those are completed, you can open yourself up to other tasks.
Productivity Myth #3: “My Productivity is Based in My Willpower”
There is a huge difference between willpower and discipline. Willpower is a raw force, and it comes and it goes. Discipline is strategic and systematic. If your willpower, or drive to get stuff done, is the force behind your productivity – it will likely be susceptible to ebbs and flows. It is simply not reliable.
A better approach is to focus on discipline rather than sheer force of will. Start creating habits that improve your productivity. For example, set times to answer your emails, and keep that browser window closed outside of those times. Another example is starting your day with cardio exercise to increase blood flow and boost creativity.
When you’re trying to stay productive, keep your focus on your goals. What can you do to reach those goals today? Set your priorities, and get yourself into the habit of sticking to those priorities.