Practically everyone will say that they want to be more productive. Those same people will also say that they are super busy and overwhelmed with meetings, task lists and deadlines.
It can be very hard to look back at the end of a busy day and figure out how much of the work was “busy” work vs. “productive” work.
Measuring productivity at work can be challenging if your company is not producing hard goods. If we can count how many more widgets we made today vs. yesterday, we can more easily measure productivity. For the rest of us it can be much harder to measure productivity.
How do you measure productivity?
Organizations usually measure productivity by how many widgets, projects, customer inquiries are completed within a certain period of time. There are other measures as well, like cost reduction, resource usage, etc.
As an individual, measuring productivity has a lot of grey areas. One of my clients measured productivity by her ability to cut down her time on social media. Yet another, measured it by how many of her planned tasks she checked off her list each day. When it comes to your personal measure of productivity, how do you measure how well you’re doing?
Teams may measure productivity differently also. As a Team Performance Coach, there are seven factors or components of productivity that we track: Alignment, Goals & Strategies, Accountability, Proactive behavior, Decision Making, use of Resources and Team Leadership. (We’ll dig into these a little bit later).
The 5PS that Impact Productivity
In the coming weeks, I’ll be diving deeper into what I call the 5Ps that Impact Productivity: Procrastination, Personality Conflicts, Perfectionism, Project Management and Prioritization.
Each of these areas show up as a challenge whether you are working by yourself or with a team. Ultimately both will affect how well the organization or company achieves its goals and mission.
Figuring out how we measure productivity and putting in place the right tools and resources to support it is key.
You can’t change what you don’t measure.
That’s one of the most important things to remember about making changes. If you feel that you are struggling to improve productivity, start out by getting clarity on how you measure it
- Is it based on how quickly a project milestone is reached?
- Is it how efficiently collaboration and sharing information happens?
- Is it how well existing resources are used to streamline workflow?
- Is it how effectively multiple priorities are managed?
- Is it how well everyone gets along?
Not Sure? Start by keeping track of your daily activities. Take note of much of what you do was planned. Track how long things take you to complete vs. what you anticipated. Follow how well you’re hitting your deadlines, or are your projects all finishing up late.
We’ll take a look at these things and how they play out in upcoming posts.
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