What is productivity

The Best Definition Of Productivity

Productivity is a concept that’s widely misunderstood. The main reason is that we use the word productivity on a macro and micro scale. On the news, we read about workforce productivity, which is basically the aggregate output of all workers.

So when we read “Productivity increased in September” we’re confused. Those macro trends have nothing to do with how productive a person is. To me, productivity is a personal measure. Especially in the 21st century where most of us work independently. We’re no longer machine operators. We’re skilled knowledge workers who manage their own time and energy.

Based on the above, there are two types of productivity:

  1. Workforce productivity: The total amount of goods and services workers produce in a certain period.
  2. Personal productivity: The relevant output of an individual in a certain period.

You do not control the former but you have 100% control over the latter. Hence, if a person, manager, CEO, leader, wants to improve collective productivity; one must improve personal productivity.

One note on the definition of personal productivity. By relevant output, I mean working on the right things. You can be highly productive and have a lot of output, but the results you achieve might be useless. When you focus on relevant output, you get the right things done. Things that improve your career, business, organization.

Also, it’s important to look at productivity over a certain period, preferably monthly. Consistent output is what drives results.

What is productivity
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Marvin Chukwuka

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