Productivity is the holy grail of achievement. Social media abounds with so-called productivity experts waxing poetic about everything you must do to maximize productivity.
Most don’t tell you they’re making money by selling their “one true way.” Many of the productivity experts on social media aren’t experts at all. They find a method that works for them and try to sell everyone on it, even if it’s not a one-size-fits-all hack.
Here’s the truth about some of the top hacks self-proclaimed productivity experts insist work.
Wake Up at 5 Am
Waking up at 5 Am is a productivity boon – for morning people. The truth is only some people do their best work early in the morning.
Some of us are night owls who work best after midnight, while others get fantastic bursts of creativity mid-afternoon.
Instead of listening to productivity experts, listen to yourself. Discover when your body is most energized, most creative, and needs rest. Develop your morning routine based on that, not on what others tell you that you should be doing.
Take a Cold Shower
However, opting for a warm shower is not the one thing holding you back in life. It’s okay to enjoy simple pleasures, like hot running water, and there are other methods of improving focus.
Cold showers help some, but they aren’t required for a productive life.
Read Next: 19 Ways to Improve Your Life Starting Today (Hint: Cold Showers Didn’t Make the List!)
Productivity experts seem to think everyone should be working 15 hours daily, and if you aren’t, you’re doing it wrong.
Life is for living. We want to be productive to relax, and enjoy our free time, not to add even more work to our days. Our work culture that demands constant productivity and availability is toxic and not the key to a fulfilling life.
Hustle culture adds to the already insane work culture, promoting the idea that if you’re not constantly hustling, you’re doing something wrong.
It’s not true. Life shouldn’t be all about work.
If I Did it – So Can You
Nothing is more annoying than an upper-middle-class kid telling those in poverty they could do everything he did if they only tried hard enough.
Not everyone has trust funds, parental assistance, or the ability to focus solely on schoolwork. Some people must work through high school, take care of younger siblings, or navigate abusive households. Some people lack the cognitive ability to achieve society’s idea of success.
Experts point to exceptional stories of people who overcome insurmountable odds to achieve success, saying that “you can too.” Yes, some people can, but most can’t. These stories are inspirational because they are exceptional.
There’s a Shortcut
Most people offering you a shortcut are trying to sneak their hands into your pockets. No magic pill will automatically improve your productivity or make your life better.
However, there are tools you can use to make things easier. Try using a bullet journal spread to map out your week, put your schedule in a daily planner so you don’t forget essential tasks, and use brain dumps to clear your head. Set calendar reminders of meetings and appointments, and build habits that become routine.
None of these tools are shortcuts. They all require work and commitment.
Read Next: 48 Bullet Journal Ideas You’ll Want to Copy
My Course is Superior to a Degree
Some fake productivity experts on Twitter claim their course is better than college.
You will not get a job that requires a degree if you take Joe Twitter’s $200 course instead of going to college. We get it, college is expensive, and $200 is much more affordable than $20,000. However, that doesn’t mean the course can compete with a degree.
Career Expert Amanda Kay offers sage words of wisdom, saying “A college degree may not be necessary to get a job, but I can guarantee you that if it comes down to two candidates, the one with the degree with get the job offer.”
You Don’t Need Sleep
I envy those who only need 4-6 hours of sleep per night, but I’m not one of them, and it’s okay if you aren’t, either.
While it’s true that some folks are perfectly fine with less than eight hours per night, it’s not true for everyone. Some people require even more sleep to be functional.
Don’t listen to productivity hacks about how much you should be sleeping. Listen to your body, and if you feel like there’s a problem, go to a doctor.
A good night’s sleep is vital to your health and well-being, don’t let any fake experts tell you otherwise.
Many productivity experts say quitting drinking helped them become more productive. Unfortunately, we don’t know the whole story behind these claims. Were they drinking heavily? Did they have a problem?
There are numerous health risks associated with drinking, and we recommend people limit their alcohol intake as much as possible. However, having a few beers on a Friday night or a glass of wine with dinner occasionally won’t destroy your productivity.
As with anything, moderation is essential.
Popular Reading: 37 Tips for Living Life to the Fullest
Mindset is Everything
Some folks tell you that you can accomplish anything if you simply shift your mindset. While mindset is essential, it isn’t everything.
You must indeed believe in yourself and have confidence in your abilities. It’s also true that positive thinking and a positive mindset can help you achieve your goals.
However, it’s not everything. You can’t overcome poverty or horrible circumstances with mindset alone. Sometimes you need a little luck, help, or opportunity.
It’s All About the Money
The final thing productivity experts get wrong is that everything is about making more money.
Money is great, and we need money to live in our current society. However, it’s not the end all be all of a great life. We need time to pursue our interests, care for our families, and nurture relationships with friends.
Life is about experiences, relationships, adventures, and living, not collecting as much money as possible. If you’re giving up precious time for money you don’t need, you’re doing it wrong.
Take Productivity Expert’s Advice with a Grain of Salt
Even true productivity gurus get things wrong sometimes. Others are just trying to get some of your hard owned money.
It’s essential to take their advice with a grain of salt. If something works for you, that’s great! Use it and incorporate it into your routine. But don’t feel ashamed if their advice doesn’t fit your life or circumstances. We’re all different, with different needs and desires.
Productivity experts would do well to learn that.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.