When Productivity Tips Just Make Your Life Harder

A great many productivity tips follow the principle of working smarter, not harder. But if you really put them under the microscope, you might find a few of them result in more stress, with the cons mitigating any benefits you gain.

Image: Alper Çuğun / Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

As The Muse's Jennifer Dziura points out, there's no reason adopting a so-called productivity tip if it's going to stress you out:

...the first three tips are: Schedule your day the night before. Clean your office the night before. Wake up at an ungodly hour.

Hmm, that kind of sounds like it's going to destroy your sex life, doesn't it? (The part where you go to bed at 9:30 so you can get up at 5:30; I'm also concerned about scheduling my day during wine time.) I mean, some adult films begin with someone cleaning their office at night, I guess.

Dziura notes that if you need a bunch of tips and hacks just to get your usual workload done, you should examine what you're doing that requires them in the first place:

Tim Ferriss suggests a thought experiment in which you imagine you’ve just had a heart attack and your doctor will only let you work two hours a day — or two hours a week? What would you choose to do?

If you're waking up at 5 AM in order to do things that aren’t getting a return, you don’t need more productivity hacks. And if you hate your work, you need to make a bold change — no life hack is going to compress work you hate into a small enough part of the day.

Indeed, if you're piling more and more work on top of work, it might be time to make larger changes, not small ones.

My Motto: Screw Productivity Tips That Only Make Your Life More Stressful [The Muse]


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