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Here are two workplace productivity myths the experts tell you to follow, but Australian consultants Mark Lovekin and Graham Reid urge you to ignore:

Myth 1

You should touch things only once

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Here are two workplace productivity myths the experts tell you to follow, but Australian consultants Mark Lovekin and Graham Reid urge you to ignore:

Myth 1

You should touch things only once

This referred in the old days to letters and memos, and these days has been applied to e-mail. But it has caused many of us to work from our inbox, without any sense of priorities. "What makes that new e-mail, which requires 15 minutes work, any more important than your existing 20 to 30 outstanding issues?" they ask in the Sales Caffeine newsletter. If an issue is only going to take two to three minutes, it's probably best to deal with it immediately, but any non-critical issue that will take you five minutes or more (likely more, when you actually tackle it) should be placed on your To-Do list. Choose how to spend time, rather than being ruled by this myth.

Myth 2

Overloading your day will cause you to excel

If you have 20 hours of work and personal issues to deal with in 10 to 12 hours, you'll flail away unless you become super-selective. Make sure your work is aligned with your goals.

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This referred in the old days to letters and memos, and these days has been applied to e-mail. But it has caused many of us to work from our inbox, without any sense of priorities. "What makes that new e-mail, which requires 15 minutes work, any more important than your existing 20 to 30 outstanding issues?" they ask in the Sales Caffeine newsletter. If an issue is only going to take two to three minutes, it's probably best to deal with it immediately, but any non-critical issue that will take you five minutes or more (likely more, when you actually tackle it) should be placed on your To-Do list. Choose how to spend time, rather than being ruled by this myth.

Myth 2

Overloading your day will cause you to excel

If you have 20 hours of work and personal issues to deal with in 10 to 12 hours, you'll flail away unless you become super-selective. Make sure your work is aligned with your goals.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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