What exactly is productivity anyway? Part 1

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What do you think of when you think of productivity?

For many, the word productivity conjures up visions of teams of people working furiously at multiple tasks, at the same time, with tremendous speed.

But all too often, we get the feeling that despite maximum efforts, the results are minimal.

I often get questions from managers and leaders about how to make their teams and staff more productive … more efficient.

But here’s the thing I’ve realised:

Productivity is not a substitute for managing people.

Productivity is also not a substitute for leading teams, organisations or initiatives.

Productivity is though, an increasingly critical component of managing oneself.

And the better you are at managing yourself, the more effective you will be as a team member, as a manager, and as a leader.

Infact, I subscribe to the belief that self-management skills are a prerequisite to management skills.

Productivity is maximum results for minimum effort

Productivity is the effectiveness of one’s effort.

It can actually be measured.

And it is measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.

And so, if I want to be a more productive person, I need to generate more outcomes from what I can put in.

I can put in time and effort.

I can put in experiences.

And so the more productive I am in honing my skills based on time and effort and experiences, the better I become in whatever goals I have.


Productivity is a complex skill

The challenge we have as human beings in figuring our productivity is that we are not machines.

We are emotional and spiritual beings and so ensuring that we have consistent and high levels of results, requires a complex skill of self-management.

Self-management is management of or by oneself; the taking of responsibility for one’s own behaviour and well-being.

The likelihood of you being a great manager without good self-management is low.

So be a good manager, invest in your own self-management.

Learning about productivity, as well as coaching and mentoring your team on productivity, will help you and your team get ahead.


Productivity is a collection of habits

And the reality is that productivity are the tips and tricks, … the tools and techniques, you use to get more from your efforts.

In other words, your productivity formula is the collection of habits that you use to get the most and best from yourself.

And it is more important than ever in this world of increasing cerebral and emotional complexity and inundation, to find the collection of productivity habits that work for you.

In Part 2 of this blog post, I describe the 4 buckets for productivity habits and provide a free 10-minute quiz you can use to measure how well your habits are working for you.

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