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.

10 Tips on How to Avoid Looking Like a Robot on Social Media

social_mediaOne of the big risks to using social media integration is looking impersonal or robot-like. After all, if you’re regularly posting updates from your blog to your social media, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out it’s automated. If people start feeling like you’re not interacting with them personally, they’ll disconnect.

Social media integration can be a very powerful way to speed up your social media strategy and get more done in less time. However, it’s crucial that you’re also aware of whether or not you appear automated.

Here are the top 10 ways you can integrate your social media without looking like a robot.

#1: Respond to Personal Messages En Mass

Social media integration tools will allow you to check all your messages in one easy to access location.

For example, sign into Hootsuite and you can see all your Twitter DMs and Facebook PMs in two different columns. You can quickly and easily identify new messages that you need to respond to.

One of the best ways to make sure you don’t come across as a robot is to respond to every single private message or direct message that gets sent your way.

Build personal connections with the people in your network. Social media integration tools can help you save time when you’re responding to these messages. If people can’t get a hold of you, chances are they’ll feel like you’re not being authentic. If you’re regularly dialoguing with your audience however, it’s very hard to come across as a robot.


#2: Add Personal Comments to Cross-Posts

Whenever you do a cross-post, add personal comments. Don’t just use an automated system to do all the work.

For example, let’s say you have a system that lets you cross post from your blog to your Twitter. Whenever you write a new blog post, it’ll create a shortened link for you and post it to your Twitter.

Instead of using an automated tool to do it, add a personal touch. Share the blog post with a brief one-liner from you about what the post is or why people should read it.

Just this one personal touch can change the perception of the post from “automated” to “highly personal” and “added value.”


#3: Reach Out to People Who Regularly Interact With You

One fantastic way to appear more personal is to be more, well, personal.

Use your social media integration tools to follow a variety of different feeds, including feeds from all your Twitter accounts and Facebook pages.

Look for people who’re regularly participating in your feeds. Look for people who’re retweeting your content, commenting on your content or sharing your content.

Whenever you spot someone who you think appreciates your work, reach out to them directly. Send them a quick thank you note. Begin building a personal relationship.

In reality, there’s no such thing as what your “social media” thinks about you. Your social media is just the collection of all your one on one relationships. Deepen your relationships with the people who matter most and you’ll have zero risk of coming across as a robot.



#4: Look at the Birds Eye View of Your Posts

Do you sound repetitive? Do your posts have soul? Are you connecting with your audience, or are you merely putting out “clinically good” content that doesn’t have any personality?

When you look at your social media on a post by post basis, it’s very hard to gauge what the overall “vibe” of your social media messages is. However, when you take a step back and really look at your posts from a bird’s eye view, you can learn a lot about your own voice.

Using your social media integration tools, load up all the feeds of your previous posts in one screen.

Then read through your last 10 to 20 updates on each of your various accounts. What would someone who only saw these updates think? Were they warm and inviting, or did they seem corporate and stiff?

Use social media integration tools to get a bird’s eye view of your current strategy. This will allow you to see your brand the way your audience sees it. Then make chances accordingly.

#5: Retweet and Share More Often

If you’re only posting content, blog updates and tweets about yourself or your company, you won’t look like an authentic social media user. Real Twitter users also read other people’s feeds, follow other people they’re interested in, retweet great posts and share on Facebook.

Unfortunately, if you’re managing multiple Twitter accounts and multiple Facebook pages, it can be very difficult to do this in a personal yet systematic way.

Social media integration allows you to do this, without looking like it’s automated. You’ll be able to load up feeds from all your different accounts in one place, then quickly identify posts that you find valuable. You can then retweet or share those posts all from one screen.

This won’t appear robotic because you’ll only be retweeting or sharing things you genuinely like. People will get more of a sense for the kinds of content that you value.

It’ll help you appear more like a real person, rather than someone who just posts updates.


#6: Write and Rewrite Your Posts to Increase Expressiveness

One of the best things about using social media integration tools is the ability to schedule posts in advance. Instead of writing a post once and having it be final, you have all your future posts laid out in one place.

While this saves a lot of time and makes things a lot more efficient, it also has one side benefit: You get to change your posts after you’ve written them, as long as they haven’t gone live yet.

The best writers in the world often spend hours writing and re-writing paragraphs. Stephen King was once said to have spent a whole day writing and rewriting just one sentence.


Assuming that you can write a status update or tweet and have it land just right on the first go simply isn’t realistic. Instead, why not write your tweets, then rewrite them, then rewrite them, then rewrite them until they’re maximally expressive and impactful?

The scheduling features of social media integration will allow you to do just that. Use these tools to refine your posts until your personality really comes out. Don’t let your posts come out stale or impersonal. Scheduling gives you the time you need to really perfect how your voice comes across.

#7: Do Something Spontaneous

Sometimes you want to meticulously plan out each and every one of your social media messages. On the other hand, sometimes you just want to be completely spontaneous.

Spontaneity is a great way to let your personality shine through. It’s a great way to let people get to know you. It’s also the only way you can respond to extremely fast current events.

Social media integration tools will allow you to be spontaneous in a big way. Instead of having to post one message, then log out of your Twitter account and back into another, you can just post your spontaneous message to all your accounts at once.

There’s nothing quite as ironic or vibe-killing as posting a “spontaneous” message across multiple networks over 30 minutes because you had to keep logging out and logging in. Instead, use social media integration tools to post spontaneous thoughts and events as they happen to all your networks.

#8: Post Different Content to Different Profiles

One thing that screams “automation!” is when you just constantly post the same content from one network to another. While not all of your social media followers will notice, enough of them will that it’ll seriously hurt your brand and reputation.

Yes, if you write a great blog post you’ll probably want to share it on Twitter and Facebook. Yes, if there’s something important going on at your company, you may very well want to share it on both networks.

But go out of your way to shift things up and make things a little different for each network. For example, re-word the way you introduce your blog posts. Or wait a week between posting the same content to each network.

That way, anyone who’s subscribed to both networks won’t get the sense that you’re mechanically posting across the board. Instead, they’ll get the sense that you’re personalizing your message to each network – Because you are.

#9: Respond to Questions Publically

When someone asks you a question in public, try to answer it in public. Use integration tools to scan all your networks regularly to see what kinds of topics people are talking and asking about.

If people see a lot of questions getting asked without an answer, they’ll be discouraged from asking questions of their own. They’ll get the sense that you’re not really looking out for them or trying to connect with them.

On the other hand, when people see that you take the time to answer questions in public, they’ll feel valued. They’ll feel more involved in your community and want to participate. You’ll appear more real and less robotic.

Watch for @replies and mentions. Talk to people who talk to you. Whenever a question is asked on your Facebook page or in a hashtag you created, try to answer it as quickly as possible.

Social media integration tools can help you get to these questions quickly and efficiently.

#10: Make Your Branding Personal

Don’t want to look like a robot? Make your branding personal.

Start with your Facebook cover and your Twitter profile picture. Pick a color scheme and graphic scheme that makes sense for your brand and make it as personal as possible.

Use your social media tools to create posts that go along with that brand. For example, if you have a vibrant brand, post fun and lively messages. On the other hand, if you’re branding yourself as an expert on a topic, make it a habit to answer questions in deep details.

Social media integration tools can make posting, answering questions and disseminating a core brand message much easier.

Your core brand should in some way be tied to your voice. It’s okay if you have a company whose image needs to be extremely personal. You can still add your voice to it. Even Google often uses phrases like “Don’t be evil” and “We made it suck less.” Figure out your brand internally, then use the tools available to you to proliferate that brand.
These are ten different ways you can make sure that you don’t come across robotic, monotonous or automatic when you’re integrating your social media. Social media integration can be a huge blessing when used properly. Just make sure you don’t tarnish your reputation by coming off as using computer generated content.