10 Productivity Tips That Are Not As Helpful As They Promise To Be


Many of us want to focus on being more “productive” although half of the times, we don’t know what is meant by that. Being productive means that one gets more done and have more time for one’s interests and hobbies and can move forward with your goals.


But are all productivity tips as helpful as they claim to be? Not really.

A number of hacks and tips exist that claim to help but since the working style varies from person to person so what is productive for some might not be as productive for another.

Here’s a list of the tips which have not proved to be helpful.

Not checking the email first thing in the morning

One of the worst tips is to not check emails first thing in the morning. Of course, checking and responding to emails right away can delay one’s entire morning plan, but it’s unavoidable in this fast-paced world.

In some industries, one can never disconnect for a few hours without missing something major. It is better to peruse the emails for anything pressing and respond to any that require a simple response or that can be forwarded to someone else to handle. It is better to hold off answering any of the messages that require thought and lengthy responses. This will prevent one from losing focus and sidetracking from what you had planned that morning.

Over-scheduling oneself

It’s fine to have daily goals and to-do lists, but trying to stick to them all the time can actually harm one’s productivity. It’s better to be flexible and ready to shift gears when necessary. One can start off with a list, but if something new and more urgent comes in, one has to be ready to be ready to reschedule. Flexibility is the key to success.

Working for long hours

Many believe that the most productive people work the longest hours. It is not true. The most productive people over the long term have a passion for their work, but they are smart enough to look after themselves. They get enough sleep, have a life outside of work, exercise, eat well, and, most importantly, understand when it’s time to put work aside to focus on something else.


One of the biggest myths and fallacies about productivity is multitasking. It has been proven that our brains are not wired to work on two or more tasks at once. This idea simply provides an illusion that one is doing more when in reality it is nothing but being less efficient. Instead of multitasking, it is important to prioritize what needs to be accomplished and do one thing at a time. This will increase the efficiency.

Relying on virtual assistants

Virtual assistants based on AI software (or outsourced assistants) are supposed to make life easier but one can’t rely on them for scheduling all of the meetings, nor should one blindly trust them with the credit card information.

Push notifications

Push notifications alert us the minute an action occurs, such as when we receive an email or a Slack message. Although helpful, these notifications draw attention away from the task at hand, which causes us to lose focus and forces our brain to reset. Disabling push notifications or turning the phone on airplane mode can help boost overall productivity by minimizing distractions.

New software without buy-in

There are a lot of software tools like ZenDesk, Trello, and Slack that are supposed to increase productivity in several areas including project management, customer service interactions, etc. However, if these are not adopted 100% by the team, then they may actually cause more hassle than help.

Taking breaks every 20 minutes

Breaks are important but taking a break every 20 minutes is not a reasonable way to spend the time because many tasks need more attention than 20-minute increments. This includes phone calls and certain writing or brainstorming sessions. It’s better to finish a task as long as it doesn’t go over an hour before a break.

‘Solutions’ that don’t serve the purpose

When one is considering a new tool for the team, one needs to keep in mind if it is collaborative, easy to use and (or) quick to implement. If the answer to all of these is ‘no,’ it will probably be an uphill battle to get the team onboard with the product and difficult to use it effectively.

Depending too much on Siri

The hype around Siri is too much and most of the times it does not meet the demands of the person. Therefore, depending too much on this is probably not the wisest thing to increase one’s productivity.

These tips help break the myth around increasing productivity and urges us to rethink our previous choices.

Also Read: How Music Makes You More Productive At Work