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In this technical era, most tend to believe that the more you make use of available technology the more you are being productive. There is no denying the fact that there certainly are many helpful tools to enhance productivity but to think that anything newer will surely make your job quicker, easier or more enjoyable is just an illusion.

Myth #1: You need to rise early for executing any job.

Early to bed and early to rise is considered to be good for health but many connect this to productivity, meaning getting up early enables you to enhance your output. Sadly, this is a misinterpretation. Every individual has its own sleep cycle. If you force yourself to leave your bed early, your efficiency is bound to be slow during mornings. Mind you, the emphasis here is on ‘force. ‘If you are an early riser, your mindset is more proactive and therefore more willing to handle more jobs during normal working hours. You can accomplish your most difficult tasks early in the morning. Your efficiency stats dropping as the day progressing. Late risers, on the other hand, are most productive during early afternoons or evenings. It simply means if you are an early riser you’ll get more time or work during late hours when there are not many to distract you.

Myth #2: The Newer the better

We are all witnessing rapid developments in technology. This is especially true about electronics. Developments in the field of electronics are so rapid that what you produce today becomes obsolete tomorrow! One can find new software and even hardware in the market every alternate month. Cell phones with a cutting edge, produced last year, have already been superseded by newer models. Likewise, every year we are introduced to better, speedier versions of laptops.

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Before you rush out to substitute your present electronic device, do have a second thought. Had the newer version not been introduced, wouldn’t the old edition have done the job?

This holds true for individuals as well as organizations. Buying anything for the simple reason that a newer edition has appeared in the market means wasting your money. This is not to deny that at times it becomes essential to employ latest technologies. For instance, use of latest editions of operating systems having significant security features. But to believe that simply because a newer edition is available, we require it is wrong and expensive misleading notion.

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Myth #3: Continuous connectivity is good

Many of you would have worked in organizations where each employee is expected to remain accessible at all times and receive hundreds of emails during the course of day. Well, there are certain jobs, like those connected with project execution, that demand such a level of connectivity but not all jobs requires it indeed. For the rest, that level of connectivity discourages rather than encouraging productivity and innovative thinking. If most the day is spent receiving and sending mail, and keeping bosses informed, there isn’t much time left for actually doing the job.

Myth #4: Email presents a superior way to do anything.

There is little doubt that emails have improved our lives but to conclude that they work for all situations is a wrong idea. Wouldn’t you agree it is far better to approach your potential clients and even angry clients on the phone!

In fact we have got so used to emails that we use these for all kinds of communications. It’s time to start curbing this habit. It is not unusual that wrong interpretation of emails is the cause of conflicts that get aggravated at times. In case you want to avoid landing in such situations, you should know there are times when it’s a bad idea to use email: when you have mistreated somebody, when you aren’t sure of what you want to convey, when you are emotional. Remember, email is a tool, like many others and it may be misused. Learn to make efficient use of this tool, otherwise you’ll be spending (or wasting) too much time going through mails and replying to those.

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Finally, it is up to you to settle on how technology can bring productivity to you or your organization. Keep in mind that technology is just one of the tools for enhancing productivity. It is significant how to use it rather than allowing it to use you!

Myth #5: It’s impractical to do real Work at Home/ Coffee Shop/Anywhere Away from the Office

A Majority of HR staff and managers continue to think ‘unless I can see them, they are not working.’ Unfortunately for them and luckily for many who prefer working from home or coffee shops, research is on the side of the latter. Stanford University conducted research on 500 of the 1200 workers employed by a Chinese travel agency. It was realized that employees working from home, even for weeks, demonstrated positive signs of enhanced productivity. Should you doubt their methodology, you can study these results from them.

The Journal of Consumer Research published a study in its December issue points out that ambient, placid, noise as experienced in the noise of a coffee shop prompts us to be more productive. On the other hand, too much noise, as in busy offices, particularly those having open air cubicles, can adversely affect our productivity.

So, find out what works best for you. If it’s an office, go there every day. In case it is home, persuade your superior to allow you undertake it.

Finally, it is up to you to settle on how technology can bring productivity to you or your organization. Keep in mind that technology is just one of the tools for enhancing productivity. It is significant how to use it rather than allowing it to use you!

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