What Is Productivity And How To Take Charge of Time

By Leon Ho, Founder of Lifehack

Do you feel like you’re in a rat race, constantly running and struggling to keep up with the demands of your daily lives, unable to stop and catch your breath? This can lead to feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion, as well as a sense that no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to “win” the race and take control of time.

It’s not surprising that nearly half of Americans believe they don’t have enough time these days.[1] In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and overburdened by the sheer number of tasks, responsibilities, and time demands. With work, family, and social responsibilities all competing for our attention, it’s no surprise that many people feel as if they’re always running out of time. This can cause stress and anxiety, making it difficult to focus and be productive.

The root cause of this problem is often a lack of time management skills and an inability to effectively prioritize tasks. As a result, people may spend too much time on low-priority tasks or activities and not enough time on what is truly important to them. This can result in a constant sense of being behind and a sense that there is never enough time to get everything done.

If you want to know how to be more productive and make time work for you, this is the guide you need.

What Is Productivity?

Productivity is defined as follows by the Cambridge Dictionary:[2]

“the rate at which a company or country makes goods, usually judged in connection with the number of people and the amount of materials necessary to produce the goods.”

In other words, productivity is a metric that measures how well resources are being used to create value.

One common misconception about productivity is that it is all about the number of tasks completed. This can lead to an emphasis on completing as many tasks as possible rather than the quality or significance of those tasks. As a result, overall productivity may suffer as tasks are not completed as effectively or efficiently.

Another incorrect definition of productivity is constant busyness. Many people believe that being busy or working long hours is a sign of productivity, but in the long run, this can lead to burnout and decreased productivity.

True productivity entails more than just finishing a large number of tasks or working longer hours. It is all about making the most of the time you have by setting specific and attainable goals, prioritizing tasks, and employing effective time management techniques.

True productivity also involves striking a balance between work and other aspects of life, including physical health, family and relationships, wealth and money satisfaction, spiritual wellness and mental strength. It is about achieving a long-term work-life balance, which is necessary for long-term productivity and well-being.

True productivity is about doing the right things in a way that allows for a healthy and fulfilling life, not just getting more done.

How to Measure Productivity

Measuring organizational productivity typically involves evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization’s systems, processes, and workforces; measuring personal productivity, on the other hand, entails evaluating an individual’s efficiency and effectiveness in completing tasks and achieving their goals.

Measuring Organizational / Work Productivity

Here are some methods for determining organizational or work productivity:[3]

Output per Unit of Input

Output per unit of input, which is the ratio of output (goods or services produced) to input, is a common way to measure productivity (resources used).

This approach can be applied to the manufacturing or service sectors, and it can be quantified by monitoring output per person or output per machine. This metric can help determine the efficiency of a manufacturing process and identify areas for improvement.

Time-Based Measures

This method of measuring productivity involves keeping track of how long it takes to complete a task or project. For instance, how many units are manufactured per hour or how long it takes to complete a project.

In fields like project management or construction where timing is crucial, this approach is helpful.

Quality-Based Measures

Another method of measuring productivity is through quality-based measures, which track the quality of the output produced. For example, how many defects are discovered in a batch of goods or how many customer complaints are received.

This metric is useful in industries where quality is critical, such as healthcare or software development.

Employee Productivity

Employee productivity can be measured by keeping track of how many tasks or projects an employee completes in a given amount of time. This metric can assist managers in identifying high-performing employees as well as areas where additional training or support may be required.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be used to assess an individual’s, department’s, or organization’s productivity. These can include metrics like sales per employee, revenue per customer, or monthly website visitors.

Measuring productivity can be complicated depending on the type of work. Moreover, quality, customer and employee satisfaction, as well as profitability, should all be taken into account when considering success in addition to productivity.

Measuring Personal Productivity

Measuring personal productivity can be difficult because it is dependent on the individual’s goals and tasks. However, you can still measure your productivity in the following ways:

Time Tracking

Time tracking is one method for measuring personal productivity. This method entails keeping track of the time spent on various tasks and activities and analyzing the data to determine where time is being wasted or where better use of time can be made.

This can be accomplished by using a timer or a productivity app, and it will help you understand how you spend your time and identify areas for improvement.

Goal Setting & Progress Tracking

Goal setting is another method that involves setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for yourself and tracking your progress toward those goals. This can help you stay focused on your goals and track your progress as you go.


Another important aspect of measuring personal productivity is self-reflection. Regularly reflecting on your productivity, thinking about what works well for you and what doesn’t, and making adjustments as needed can help you improve over time.

You can get a sense of how productive you’ve been and identify areas where you can improve by looking at your completed tasks, goals, and progress over a certain period of time.

But keep in mind that personal productivity is a personal journey, and you must find the methods and tools that work best for you.

Also, keep in mind that productivity is not the only measure of success; well-being, happiness, and personal growth should all be taken into account.

Now that you have a better understanding of what productivity is, let’s look at what factors influence productivity and what you can do to increase productivity and take control of your time.

Final Words

The very first step in boosting productivity and regaining control of your time is to recognize that some time is more important than others, and that it is critical to prioritize your tasks and reduce or eliminate time-wasting activities.

You can manage your time more effectively and get more done by using the Time System I introduced. You will experience less stress and overwhelm. So, start using the System right away and incorporate it into your daily routine.

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