How would you complete the following three statements in relation to the week just passed?
1. On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being outstanding, my productivity this past week was a..
2. On the same scale of 1-5, my effectiveness this past week was a..
3. And finally, still on the same scale, my efficiency this past week was a..
Consider the following definitions..
Productivity is a measure of output from a production process, per unit of input. I will extend this definition to say that it should be “the measure of a predefined output per unit of predefined input”.
Effectiveness simply means the capability of producing an effect.
Efficiency is the accomplishment of, or ability to, accomplish a job or task with a minimum expenditure of time, effort or energy. It’s a ratio of the work done or energy developed in relation to the energy supplied to it.
Did you realize that you can be both effective & efficient without necessarily being productive?
Think about it.. did you create an effect through applying an energy? Without judging the quality, quantity, relevance or impact of the effect itself.. if you were able to create an effect, then you were indeed effective.
Did you plan the amount of energy that you wanted to exert in order to achieve your effect? Taking for granted that you did, if you were able to exert no more, or even less energy then you estimated, then you were indeed efficient.
When you started your week 5 days ago, did you identify the desired quantifiable outputs that you wanted to have realized by the end of the week? I’m not talking about a to-do list, action items or even intentions & goals, I’m referring to a concrete & 360º all-encompassing measurement of who, what, when why & how.
Unless you did, then you can’t legitimately claim you were productive.
The sad truth..
You see, this past week I met with 10 different people who had exerted a lot of energy & resources to come up with master plans for improving many aspects of their organization & performance, yet 9 of those 10 had not defined fully quantifiable outputs.
End result? 9 out of 10 were feeling less than fully satisfied!
How to define a quantifiable output..
Step 1; Imagine (for yourself) what success looks like by the end of next week. Paint yourself the most graphic picture possible of what success will look & feel like by the end of the week. What are the emotions that you & those surrounding you will be feeling when that success is achieve ? Hold on tightly to that thought!
Step 2; Validate your quantifiable criteria, not only in terms of results to be achieved, but as well resources, collaboration & energy that will be required to achieve that success? Then validate as well what are the emotions that you want to feel during the course of reaching your achievement.
Step 3; Confirm that you have the buy-in and or alignment of the necessary resources to accomplish your desired predefined outcome.
Bonus tip; Using the SMART Criteria, I find the best results come when desired outcomes are Specific, Measurable & Meaningful so that they can be Motivational. Appropriate, Agreed & Actionable so they can be Attainable. Results-focused/oriented, Rewarding, Time-bound, Trackable & Tangible so that when you Evaluate the outcome as well as the process, it was an Engaging & Enjoyable experience.
Lastly, if you want to continue to improve, develop & grow, then you will need to schedule intervals to Revisit, Reevaluate & Reassess the process, results & overall experience in a ongoing manner.
Quote; Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision merely passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. – Joel Barker
You have to be able to measure Vision in order to Action it, just like you have to measure results in order to determine if you were Productive! What tools or mechanisms are you using to track energy exerted in order to accomplish your desired outcome?
If you’re not planning & measuring it.. it just isn’t getting achieved. And if you don’t review & adjust it.. it just isn’t going to improve.
Now.. looking back on your past week, or even your week ahead. How many of those SMART Criteria can you tick-off in the predefined outcomes you expect to experience by next Friday afternoon?
Quote: Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort – Paul j. Mayer
Finally, and on a more personal note..
Can you think of Productivity in more than a professional capacity? If you applied the same tick list to your personal life how would you feel differently at the end of next week?