As an event professional, you manage hundreds of tasks. It’s not surprising that increasing productivity is at the top of your to-do list. If you want to get the most out of your day, cross off these productivity myths that are holding you back.
We all know that being productive is the key to your success as an event planner. You’ve got speakers to book, attendees to register, events to plan, and timelines to manage. In the modern age of technology, it’s hard to escape the pressure to do more - faster. So, you turn to productivity systems, self-help books, and softwares to help you manage your time more effectively and magically find more hours in each day. But have you ever stopped to wonder if your beliefs about productivity are true?
Here are 6 common productivity myths you really need to avoid. These widely held beliefs are holding you back from being your most productive self. Learn the truth today and stop wasting time and energy on tactics that aren’t helping accomplish your goals.
Myth 1: Waking Up Early Will Make You More Productive
We’ve all heard the phrase, “the early bird gets the worm,” but it turns out that humans aren’t birds. While some people do their best work early in the day, others function best late at night. And while some of us are slumping around noon, some folks are just starting to feel energized. The key to being productive is understanding when you are the most productive, and doing critical work during those times. Of course, there are constraints you will have to work around - clients in different time zones, office hours, etc. Still, knowing when you are at your peak performance will help you schedule your day accordingly.
Myth 2: Jumping Right Into Your Work Will Help You Get More Done
As soon as you sit down to work, you jump right into the first project. The next thing you know, the day is over, and you haven’t accomplished, or even started, key tasks. While your desire to be productive may make you want to rush into checking items off of your to-do list, don’t start working without a plan. The best way to start your day is to ground yourself, identify key tasks, and map out your work time. Although this process may take some time, it will prepare you for the day’s challenges and keep you on track - saving tons of time in the long run.
Myth 3: Keep Working Until You Finish A Task Or You Never Will
Switching gears in the middle of a project is not necessarily a bad thing. If your brain is feeling fried, identify a stopping point in your current task. When you reach that point, find something else to cross off of your to-do list before returning. For instance, if you’re feeling swamped by the technicality of data entry or analysis, take a moment to be socially productive by replying to an important email or asking a co-worker a question. Using different parts of your brain for a little bit will help you feel refreshed when you return to the original task. This renewal will help you complete the task more quickly and effectively.
Myth 4: Taking a Break Is a Waste of Precious Time
There’s a lot of social stigma around breaks and time off. You don’t want to look lazy, and you certainly don’t want to waste time - but taking a break is one of the best uses of time there is. Let yourself daydream or relax. Giving yourself a mental break is one of the fastest ways to increase your productivity. It’s even better if you use your break to get active. Go for a walk around the block or just across the office to get your blood flowing, improve your health, and energize your work when you return.
Myth 5: Working Longer Hours Means You Get More Accomplished
Deadlines are important, and sometimes you have to work overtime to meet them. But let’s be honest, your twelfth hour of work in a day is nowhere near as productive as your first hour. Working long hours is sometimes necessary, but it should not be your everyday schedule. You perform at your best when your life is in balance, and your body is rested. Long hours just aren’t sustainable. At first, you will be able to get more done because you will be running on stores of energy - but when those stores are depleted (which won’t take long), you will accomplish less in twelve hours than you could complete in eight if you were rested.
Myth 6: The Most Productive Work Happens At a Desk
As advances in technology allow for greater freedom in deciding when and where we do our work, a lot of supervisors and individuals fight back with this argument. Thankfully, it’s just not true. Some people really do work better at a desk, but that certainly isn’t the case for everyone. While a coffee shop or the beach may not seem like ideal work environments to one person, they may be huge productivity-boosters for another. The key to productivity is understanding your ideal work environment - and then creating it.
Wanna know a secret? Seriously, don’t tell the boss! The ideal work environment for one of the EventMB team is sitting in a comfy chair or on the couch with the lights off and a fan on in the background. Strange and vampire-like perhaps, but, it works for them, and that’s what matters. Get to know how to make your work environment work for you, and you will be happier and more productive.
It’s easy for other people to tell you what you should and should not do for increasing productivity, but there is no perfect one-size-fits-all answer. Still, avoiding these terrible myths is a good place to start.
Looking for more productivity tips? Check out 7 Productivity Hacks for Event Planners!