9 Most Common Myths about Productivity

There are myths and mistaken beliefs that could be preventing you from being more productive in both your personal and work life. Your beliefs about productivity and organization can often prevent you from doing exactly what you want to do and to be in life.

You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you think about these circumstances. Your thoughts, in turn, affect how you respond to your circumstances.

productivity myths

How many of the following myths about productivity keep you from being an effective, productive person?

1. Being organized means being clean

People often believe that being organized means they live in a cold, sterile, unused space. But that’s not really what organized means. An organized space is one in which things are where you most need them, and close at hand. The things you need the most often are easy to find and the things you don’t need very often are put away but easily retrieved if you do need them.

You should be able to find what you need in your office, or room or kitchen quickly and easily. If the clutter isn’t working, take the time to organize it so that it does work.

2. You don’t have time for a system

The reality is that, systems do take time to set up, but once you begin using them the amount of time you save makes up for the set up time.

3. Systems can be rigid and inflexible to use

No one’s life is so chaotic and unpredictable that it won’t fit into some sort of system.

4. Being productive means doing more work

This seems to be the fear of many. The idea that if it takes you half as long to do everything in your life right now then being productive means you will be doing twice as much.

Being productive means having more time to do the things you enjoy like spending time with your family or taking vacations or writing a book.

5. You’re too creative to use a system

no system

Productivity isn’t just for business people. Creative work is still work and often can be subject to procrastination, poor planning or rushing to complete. You also have to take care of all the records, clients and taxes that come with being creative. The same is true for those taking care of personal space. You need a system in place to pay your bills, file your taxes, plan your meals and shopping, and keep track of appointments.

6. You work best when you’re under pressure

Many people believe they thrive under an impending deadline. Most of the time that’s not true. It’s an excuse they use so they don’t have to say they messed up and didn’t get started sooner.

Being in a high-stress, always-urgent mode isn’t good for your health, your business life or your relationships.

7. You need inspiration to be productive

Inspiration isn’t what gets the work done. Write down your ideas to capture them for later.

8. Multitasking is common for everyone

Multitasking slows down our productivity. It makes you prone to making errors. And it often keeps you from completing one task completely and well.

Don’t mistake flexibility with multitasking. When you’re flexible you are able to move on to another to do item when necessary. You do the job until you get to a stopping point then move on to another task if necessary.

9. I don’t need a schedule

no schedule

You can have little structure to help you clarify your goals and what needs to be done each day. It doesn’t mean you have to write down everything in detail, just use a broader list.

Admitting you fall prey to any of these productivity myths can be tough. In fact, you might even deny it by procrastinating or with indignation but if you’re honest with yourself you will eventually accept it and take steps to improve.


What to do instead:

Now that you’ve identified your productivity flaws you need to ways to change them. It might be that you just need better systems in place. Or maybe you need more in-depth help.

Here are a few choices to get you started:

  • Estimate how long you need to complete a task. Then set up a time to do it.
  • Tell everyone what you’re doing and ask them to not interrupt you for a certain amount of time.
  • Get enough sleep the night before you have a big, productive day planned. Getting enough sleep, preferably 7 to 8 hours, helps your body restore itself and be rested to take on what it needs to do.
  • Along with the previous item, eat a healthy diet. Fill up on whole foods, rich fruits and vegetables and eliminate sweets, fats and processed foods. Get in plenty of exercise to keep your body at peak form.
  • Enlist the help of others. At home, enlist your kids to help do a whole-house pick up every evening before bedtime. Pick up everything in sight. Make a game of it.


  • Eliminate distractions. Turn of the television, phones and social media and anything else that distracts you throughout the day.
  • Plan on being productive. If you put it in your schedule to accomplish, you are more likely to do it. The more you plan to accomplish, the more you will accomplish.
  • Create a routine. Everyone has a unique routine. Create yours and stick to it as much as you can. Say no to the extra stuff that take you away from what you need to be doing.
  • Tackle the job a little at a time, breaking it down into smaller chunks. If you’re cleaning and organizing your house, take several things with you when you go upstairs. If you’re working on a large project for a client, break each section down into a small chunk you can do in 15 minutes or so.
  • Focus on one activity at a time.
  • Work when you are at your peak. If you’re a morning person, get the bulk of your productivity done then. The same is true for night owls or afternoon workers.

These are just a few of the ways you can combat loss of time and get on the right track towards being more productive. Find your peak work time, get organized, follow systems and become healthy.

Organization Matters – How to Organize Your Content for Productivity and Efficiency


You may not realize it, but how you organize your content creation process makes a huge difference in your productivity. A simple example of this is the person who sits down in the morning to write the day’s blog post. They have no idea what they’re going to write about, what the goal is, and where they’re going to get their information. The blog post takes much longer than it should to write.

Conversely, the business owner who has an editorial calendar that includes the topic idea, a brief outline, monetization strategy, goals, and a publication date will likely be much more productive.  Organize your systems well enough and you can still procrastinate on your content, write it the day it’s due, and still only spend a few minutes on the task.


#1 Editorial Calendar

calendarA simple editorial calendar is a list of the dates you want to publish each piece of content. You can create an editorial calendar for the week, month, quarter, or even an annual calendar. You can create it on a simple calendar tool like Microsoft Outlook or Excel or you can use project management software like Basecamp to establish deadlines. And if you enjoy pen and paper, then grab a printable calendar.

You can take the basic editorial calendar and make it more useful by adding the following information.

  • Article Topic
  • Key Points/Outline
  • Data/Information Resources
  • Monetization strategy
  • Goals for content
  • Call to action
  • Embedded links
  • Template/format

The more you can predetermine about your content, the easier it will be to write it. When you have the topic, structure, research and goals identified, it can literally take you just a few minutes to create your content.

Let’s talk a minute about monetization. Each piece of content that you publish whether it’s PLR, Video, or content you’ve written should have a goal. What do you want it to achieve? What do you want readers to do?

In many cases, you simply want people to read the content and click on a link to make a purchase or earn you a commission. You want to monetize the content. There are many different ways to monetize your content. Plan ahead and you can craft your content to fit your chosen monetization tactic.

  • Ad Placement – You can use various plugins or widgets to integrate advertisements right into the body of your content. For example, EmbedAds, http://wordpress.org/plugins/embad/, is a WordPress plugin that gives you control over where and when your ads are displayed.
  • Promotional Offers – Does your content lead into a click to a sales page or a promotional offer? You can include that offer right in the closing of your content or create your own promotional advertisements or messages and embed them with a widget or plugin.
  • Subscription – Do you have a membership site? If so, you can motivate subscriptions by providing a teaser or a portion of an article and making the rest of the content available with a paid subscription.
  • AdSense – Google’s advertising plan for publishers, https://www.google.com/adsense/, is still alive and strong as a monetization model for many online businesses.
  • WordPress Plugins – There are also plugins you can install on your WordPress site that identify keywords and attach relevant links to those keywords. Skimlinks, http://wordpress.org/plugins/skimlinks/, and Amazon Auto Links are two examples of this type of monetization plugin.

Not all content needs to be monetized. However, it is an important consideration when you’re planning your content, choosing your topics, and establishing goals.


#2 Note Taking Systems

9-research-toolsTools like Evernote and OneNote have already been discussed. These tools allow you to

  • Save your ideas – for example a brilliant content idea that came to you during your morning walk
  • They can be accessed anywhere – Evernote and Onenote both have mobile applications that link to your account. No matter what device you’re using to take notes and capture ideas, you can access them from one single account.
  • Search by Keyword – Note taking tools make it easy to find things fast. You can search by keyword, tag or even printed and handwritten text inside images. No more shuffling through papers on your desk to find your lists and ideas.

Note taking applications aren’t for everyone. If you find yourself using pen and paper more often than a device, that’s fine. The important step here is to create a system that works for you. Some people find a three ring binder is the perfect system to take and organize their notes.


#3 Project Management

11-project-managementIf you utilize contractors, for example ghostwriters, editors, graphic designers or virtual assistants, then a project management system will be valuable for you on many levels. There are both free and paid Project management tools.

For example, Google Drive can be used as a project management tool. It has a calendar and document system that you can share with specific people – even if they don’t have a google account or Gmail address.

There are also WordPress plugins for project management. For example, WP Project Manager, http://wordpress.org/plugins/wedevs-project-manager/, lets you assign projects, create lists and milestones and upload files.

Basecamp is an online project management and collaboration tool, http://basecamp.com/. If you’re looking for a tool to help combine communication and project management with your contractors and you want to organize your content, a project management software or service can be a big help. You can use the milestone feature to schedule content creation and publication. You can upload relevant documents, for example, your outline and monetization tactic, for each piece of content. And you can use the system to document your results as well.

Create an organization system that supports your personal work style. You may enjoy organizing everything digitally or you may have a file cabinet that Martha Stewart would be proud of. A system must support you to follow through and actually use it.  And that brings us to the last step in the content process – publishing.

Moving Ahead During the Recession


In tough economic times, it is only natural that business owners become frightened. Millions are faced with the reality of less money coming in, which means less money to spend. We have seen the affects of that over the past year as countless small businesses have closed their doors due to poor sales numbers. Who wouldn’t be frightened when observing this day in and day out for months on end?

This is the time for business owners, especially those on the web, to take a moment – a deep breath – and think very clearly. Why? Because it is possible for your business to actually experience a time of growth during times of recession if you play your cards right. While it can cause uneasy feelings to continue spending when profits are down, a 2003 study proved that doing so can lead a company through a recession and give them a hefty advantage on the competition long after the recession has ended.

The way to move full steam ahead is to not jump on the bandwagon of trimming fat and slashing prices to non-profitable levels. Downturned economic times are when you should focus on your company’s core competitive strengths, foster relationships with customers, and improve the effectiveness of your management team (or management skills of the one manager you have). Additionally, this is the time to hold prices at profitable levels.

One step to take is to closely monitor your competitors. See, these are times when many of those you are up against will take drastic measures: decreasing or completing ending marketing campaigns and investing, cutting necessary staff and adding to the work load of those team members still standing, putting off necessary research and product development plans. These are just a few of the ways companies are scaling back, but all are to their detriment. While cuts are a necessary part of surviving a recession, you can come out on top by giving serious consideration to where cuts can be made, and also where you may be able to continue spending.

It is important to understand that continued spending in a time where we seem to live in economic purgatory may cut into your personal pocketbook. This is the risk that is taken on when one decides to go into business; and one that can be handled gingerly throughout hard times, leading to long term growth and profitability.

When times are tough, you as a business owner can take advantage of lowered advertising prices or lower prices from yourhandshake suppliers. There are several ways in which you can maintain revenues and keep your business afloat if you consistently seek them. Another aspect of taking advantage of the economic climate is in the talent pool. There are so many people in the job market right now with stellar qualifications, making this a time to snatch up a few people to add to your organization is a great idea. With few jobs to choose from and competition so high, you have the opportunity to add highly skilled and qualified team members to your staff that you may not have been able to get before.

Growth is possible even in times when people are tightening their purse strings. Look through your organization to find how you can improve client relations, build up staff morale, and continue to press onward and upward.