How You Can Measure Productivity?

How do you know whether you are productive or not? How you can measure productivity? Productivity is the output as result per unit of input as a labor, equipment, and capital.

Another explanation of productivity can be how much work we have done in a specific unit of time. For example, how much products we produce in one day, or how much articles we write in two hours, or how much words we can read in one hour…

Every day we make a list with a lot of things that we need to do for that day. Some of them are important and some of them are not so much important. Some of them are urgent and other are not urgent. If your workday is 8 hours and if you accomplish everything on your list, you can say that you have a very productive day. Yes, you succeed to achieve everything you want to achieve.

But, in many cases, it is not in such a way. What about our wrong expectation for our working day? What if we can do more than we put on our list of tasks for that particular day? These are important questions for all of us.

If we take into our consideration the other thing we are doing on a daily basis, we will have a very different view of our own productivity.

For example, I work from 09:00 AM until 17:00 AM. On a particular day, I can have five tasks on my to-do list, and my day looks something like this:

  • 09:00 – 09:30 Coffee with colleagues,
  • 09:30 – 10:30 Work on task #1 on my list,
  • 10:30 – 10:45 Work on task #2 on my list,
  • 10:45 – 10:50 Answer on phone call,
  • 10:50 – 11:05 Continue work on task #2 on my list,
  • 11:05 – 11:20 Checking my social media accounts,
  • 11:20 – 11:30 Finishing my task #2 on my list,
  • 11:30 – 12:00 Work on task #3 on my list,
  • 12:00 – 12:10 Talk with the colleague that unexpectedly come into my office,
  • 12:10 – 12:30 Finishing work on task #3 on my list,
  • 12:30 – 13:30 Launch,
  • 13:30 – 14:15 Work on task #4 on my list,
  • 14:15 – 15:00 Coffee break,
  • 15:00 – 16:00 Finishing work on task #4 on my list,
  • 16:00 – 16:15 Talk with the colleagues,
  • 16:15 – 17:00 Completing task #5 on my list.

It looks fine! I finish all my tasks as I planned. But, am I productive person? How much I am productive. If my productive time is the time when I work on my planned tasks than I have worked for five hours.

My productivity at that time was 5 hours of work time divided by 8 hours of available time = 62.5%.

This mean that I spend only 62.5% of my available time to do important work for me. Knowing this number, I can set goals and then strategies to improve my productivity.

This example is something that we can classify as OK, but in many real cases, we can measure productivity to be lower than 30%. This means lot more work for improvement.

However, if you want to succeed in your efforts for increasing productivity you need to measure productivity.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan