How do you measure productivity?

Are you tired of doing work that feels unproductive? Do you sometimes feel that all you’re doing is “pushing papers” and working on mundane tasks? Neither of which inspire you to excel nor significantly contribute to the over-all success of your department or company?

How much busy work are you doing these days?

Some cold hard facts..

1) According to the data presented by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most of us spend 20 hours of each day sleeping (8.68 hours/day), working (7.78 hours/day), and watching television (3.45 hours/day). I know: shocking, right? Who sleeps that much?

2) Another recent study asked people working in organizations to categorize their work into three buckets; Bad Work, Good Work & Great Work. Here’s what they said..

  • 0% – 40% = Bad Work
  • 40% – 80% = Good Work
  • 0% – 25% = Great Work

3) In the article Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, the #1 regret was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”. Closely followed by “I wish I didn’t work so hard” at #2. Now.. if there is one thing that I can absolutely money-back guarantee you, is that one day we will all die.

So how can we avoid having the same regrets?

Harvard Business Review’s Don’t Regret Working Too Hard brings us facts 1 & 3, whilst Michael Stanier’s 7 Counter-Intuitive Ways to Find More Time, Space & Courage to Do Great Work (pdf download) build the argument to defend fact #2.

The challenge..

Did you ever wish you had proof of what you’ve told your boss & colleagues, thousands of times, in regards to some (or all) of your current mindless / pointless activities? Can you honestly stand-back at the end of each day & point to how productive you were? Or how your productivity will impact the organizations goals & objectives?

What if I were to tell you that there is now a very easy way to reverse all of that frustration?

The solution..

Articles like the ones above inspired me to search out a tool that would help any employee prove to his boss that they could be more effective, efficient, and more importantly, truly productive. And when you understand the rules behind the logic, then you’ll also be able to apply the same rational to your personal productivity in your non-work-life.

Imagine a tool that proved you were working at your maximum capacity even though the department’s or company’s results weren’t reflecting that. Better yet, imagine a tool that helped you prove that you were being over-worked, or working on the wrong tasks, thus negatively affecting your motivation whilst simultaneous increasing the probability of stress related illnesses.

Now imagine a tool that would significantly contribute toward your better understanding of how to best leverage your natural energy, strengths & areas for improvement. More than just increasing your own motivation to work better, but as well to significantly contribute directly to the company’s bottom line goals.

Two coincidences..

A few months ago I stumbled upon a quote which caught my fancy, and a few days later I was presented  an interesting tool by one of the people I had just begun interim-managing.

The quote was; The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary. – Vince Lombardi

The tool was WorkMeter, and what surprised me was that it was an automated sister version of an empowerment tool called Harvest which I personally use myself. Much like Harvest, WorkMeter allows you to measure activities vs. hours available, but in an automated way. Thus there is no question that when the increased individual productivity isn’t reflected through impact on organizational goals, then we’ve got people doing the wrong activities.

Key discovery & benefits, just to name a few..

WorkMeter allowed me to track the endless interruptions my team was subject to, thus making productive truly work impossible in the first place.

It allowed individuals to reflect back on their day, evaluating hard data, and make significant recommendations to management for improved productivity. This exercise also helped them better structure their own next work day ahead.

It highlighted to the company that the over-all goals & objectives needed rethinking. They needed to be better & more transparently communicated to the entire organizations

The most significant impact however was on the team itself, who became more motivated through linking their activities to significant contribution toward concrete company results.

Stress was down & people smiled.. laughed more.. especially the executive team who finally started see great results from great work!

Back to my initial question, how do you measure productivity?

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