Nearly everyone is interested in being more productive at work, but many people fall prey to productivity myths. This article lists three misguided ideas you and your employees should avoid or at least reexamine.

You Can Power Through Anything

When faced with a big task at work, it can feel tempting to hunker down and put in long, continuous hours until the task is done. However, your focus will wane over time, which can produce errors or make rework necessary. Try taking a short break every 90 minutes or so, and increase or decrease the time between breaks until you find your sweet spot. You will come back to your task refreshed and refocused.

Do Your Toughest Task First

The idea that you should do your toughest task first thing in the day is not so much a productivity myth as an oversimplification. If you find yourself struggling to get through a difficult objective while having time for other work duties, try switching up your work rhythm until you find something that works. If that is, indeed, tackling your toughest task first thing in the morning, then go for it.

However, some people may find more success by knocking out smaller items—like clearing out email backlogs—first to free up focus. Another option is to do your most enjoyable task first. Like hitting the gym first thing in the morning, this can give you a sense of accomplishment that fuels the rest of your day.

To-Do Lists are Automatically Good

To-do lists are an often-cited productivity tool, but they only work well if they are set up the right way, according to For example, a to-do list with strict guidelines, like deadlines, will be more effective than one with no such guidelines.

Want more tips on getting the most out of your work life? Check out Rotay Capital Finance’s other blog posts.