Are you productive?… Really?

ProductivityHow do you measure productivity?

From the moment we wake up our minds begin to make decisions. Hour by hour, minute by minute our day is continuously occupied as we process what needs to be done, the best approach as well prioritizing each task. We have busy brains with non-stop decision making processes. Some decisions are built in routines and unconscious, others are sporadic, spontaneous and more complex.

Utilize your time more effectively 

When measuring your own productivity it is the value of the task that indicates the amount of time you will concentrate on it. Being busy is not the same as being productive. When you confuse being busy with being productive, you are sabotaging your own progress. To utilize your time more effectively, consider setting aside focus time to accomplish parts of your project. You will then have solid evidence to measure your time factor in comparison to your results. The clarity of these results will help you make concrete decisions in the areas you want to maximize your productivity.

Percentage of Time

A large project can be very daunting. When broken down into digestible segments the time factor is easier to measure. Let’s say you set aside 2 hours to accomplish a section of your project. Maybe you read and answered emails that take 10 minutes. The rest of your time is been taking up chatting on the phone, stopped for a snack, a couple coffee breaks, gaze out the window, pet your animals, move around for a good stretch and many other distracting activities. In between you worked on your project for approximately 20 minutes.

To be fair we will include reviewing emails to give you a total 10 + 20 = 30 minutes

To give a measurable amount of productivity and a tangible result, the result will be done in a percentage of time.

120 minutes (2 hours) / 30 minutes = 25%

Here you have a painful, tangible truth displaying the amount of productivity you dedicated to fulfill your commitment and measurable results of your own valuable time.

Focus Productivity

We will use the same 2 hour period; however, this time reward yourself with 10 minute break intervals and 30 minutes of focus productivity. Your brain needs regular breaks to rejuvenate and rest before moving on tackling the next assignment.

30 minutes productivity x 3 = 90 minutes 10 minute breaks x 3 = 30 minutes

120 minutes (2 hours) / 90 minutes = 75% productivity

As you can see when breaking down your time into tangible, measurable segments it provides a clear snapshot of the amount of focus productivity time. Here is a guideline for you to be more equipped to get things done and schedule your time. The next time you have a project to accomplish use this formula as an indicator to help you get more completed. When you take a look at it in this view, you can really see how much time you dedicate to your goal. Now you can measure, with brutal honesty where your time is being spent. It can be tough to focus your time when it is outside of your comfort zone or is unfamiliar to you. Plan in advance what you want to accomplish then break into focus time and break time. The project will not be so daunting and you will accomplish a large part what you set out to do.

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