The Top 9 Productivity Myths That Just Aren't True

There’s a lot of productivity advice out there that isn’t practical for everyone, or even effective. I think this article hits the nail on the head.

The myth I tend to follow is optimizing my systems and needing to stay busy…

My recent venture into system simplification and desire to explore/learn more (aka follow my interests) are in aim to break these mindsets.

What myths have you followed in the article, and how are you thinking of dealing with them?


I used to believe in myth #1. Trying to copy someone else’s habits and routines is a great example. Everyone’s life is different and we rely on different habits or routines to get us through the day. I’ve learned to let myself be me and work on one habit at a time before trying another habit or experiment.

Myth 3 has always been perplexing to me. Setting big goals sounds virtuous but I was never the kid that really knew what he wanted to do until much later in life. It’s interesting when I join an adventure, take a new job, and see where it takes me. I develop my skill set baed on what I needed to learn at the time. Sometimes we set out wanting to become a doctor but end up becoming an architect. I wouldn’t say “give up on my dreams” but I would tell my kids “point in a general direction but don’t be afraid to take a new road” if it takes you to new worlds.


I recommend checking out the book Range. A big chunk of the book talks about how specializing in one area really early is actually detrimental to success. I’d say setting a big goal is in a way choosing to specialize in that area.


I have certainly tried to emulate other peoples systems, still do to some extent, because we all build on what has gone before.

Never understood “big goals” life is a journey and really we all go the same way at the end. The successful (whatever that is) business person is just as likely to end up a dribbling shell of a human being as I am, the journey is the point not the goal, I have always just gone where life has taken me. Mapping stuff out is probably akin to a business plan, more guesswork and wish projection than what will likely happen.

If I had followed the “normal” established wisdoms I doubt I would be typing this sitting in a coffee bar looking out to sea with sun shining. Yes I probably would have “achieved” more, I doubt I would be any happier or more fulfilled.

I never set out to be what I am today, quit school ASAP and just grabbed some opportunities as they came up and of course let a many more slip by. “Big Goals” probably have as much of a downside as they do an up, pressures, stresses letting other areas of life slip etc. I try to just do the best I can each day, I often fail, but that as I have said is just part of the journey.


This has been my experience so far. Any time I try to plan out further than a few days, everything gets blown up.

The simpler way for me is set out in a direction, explore, and see where it takes me. It’s not the most efficient looking on the outside, but I always end up right where I need to be eventually :slight_smile:

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