Productivity is a measure of how efficiently resources are used to produce goods and services. It is typically calculated by dividing the total output of goods and services by the total inputs of labor and capital. A more productive economy is able to produce more goods and services with the same amount of inputs, or the same amount of goods and services with fewer inputs.
There are many ways that individuals and organizations can improve their productivity. Here are a few examples:
- Prioritize tasks: By prioritizing tasks and focusing on the most important and urgent tasks first, individuals and organizations can be more efficient and avoid wasting time on tasks that are less important.
- Eliminate distractions: Eliminating distractions can help individuals and organizations to stay focused and avoid wasting time. This could involve setting aside dedicated time for focused work, turning off notifications, or creating a quiet and distraction-free work environment.
- Use technology and tools: Technology and tools can help to automate or streamline repetitive or time-consuming tasks, freeing up time and resources for more important work. This could include using project management software, automation tools, or productivity apps.
- Collaborate and delegate: Collaborating and delegating tasks can help to distribute the workload and ensure that tasks are completed efficiently and effectively. This could involve working with colleagues or partners, or outsourcing tasks to third-party vendors.
Overall, improving productivity involves being strategic and efficient in how tasks are prioritized and completed. By focusing on the most important tasks and using technology and collaboration, individuals and organizations can be more productive and achieve more with the same amount of time and resources. The following are factors that are tend to improve productivity.
Automating labor intensive tasks to improve costs, speed and quality. May also reduce risks related to human error.
Following the best known way to do something unless you can improve upon it.
Competition is widely viewed as the root of economic productivity. In other words, if a firm or employee has no competition they have less incentive to be productive. In some cases, people are inspired by their work and can be highly productive without being pushed by competitive forces.
Corporate culture has a broad and deep impact on productivity. For example, values, habits and norms such as openly sharing information and treating each other with respect typically improves employee work output.
Eliminating inefficiencies in processes, practices and work habits is a common source of productivity gains.
Fail well is the design of activities so that if they should fail, they fail quickly, cheaply and safely.
Offices and other work spaces that are healthy, safe and aesthetically pleasing. Stimulating social environments and quiet spaces may both play a role in productivity.
Flow is a state of uninterrupted mental concentration that is considered important to knowledge work. Flow is the opposite of multitasking, or an attempt to quickly bounce from one thing to the next such as developing code, talking on the phone and watching a movie at the same time.
Innovation is the creation of something new that has value. It is often used to find labour saving techniques and devices that boost productivity.
Access to knowledge can improve work results and prevent knowledge workers from repeating efforts.
Working on your highest priority items first tends to boost your output.
Focusing on quality boosts the value of your work and may help avoid time consuming future problems. For example, each hour spent improving product quality may save ten hours of customer service work.
Reusing materials, equipment and knowledge contributes to efficiency.
Risk management has an impact on productivity in areas such as business strategy and project management. A failed strategy or project can set back the productivity of an entire organization.
Sharing information and resources such as technology between teams. It is surprisingly common for teams to reproduce a document, technology or database that already exists within an organization.
Skills directly related to productivity. For example, an highly skilled computer programmer may solve problems with code in hours that might take a less skilled developer weeks.
Clear roles & responsibilities that give highly specific duties to individuals are considered an element of productivity in some industries.
The first step in productivity is to know that you’re doing the right thing to advance your goals.
Taking advantage of time-sensitive opportunities as they arise to achieve wins that far exceed your regular productivity rate.
Technology tools that get work done quicker, better or with less risk. Includes information support for knowledge work such as decision making.