Productivity Definition and How to Calculate Your Productivity

In today’s episode we’re giving you the definition of productivity, the equation to calculate it, and then how to think about it as it relates to measuring your productivity because it’s not quite as cut and dry as the equation suggests.

Productivity can be defined as:

A measure of economic performance that compares the amount of goods and services produced  with the amount of inputs used to produce those goods and services

Expressed as an equation, think of it as Let’s introduce the Productivity Equation:

Output / Input = Productivity

All great in theory and really easy to compute if you’re looking at a machine that for instance makes 1,000 widgets a hour, consumes 15kw of energy to do it and had an initial cost of $100,000

But just how do you compute this as a human? Let’s break this fraction down…

Output is the value you create. 

Think of these as finished projects if you’re in management, lines of code you wrote if you’re a programmer, number of reports you produce if you’re an analyst, number of products you put together if you assemble things, number of requests you can fill if you are in customer service, and number of sales you convert if you’re a sales person.

Inputs are things it cost to get the output: For humans it’s time, money and in some cases effort. 

Think of inputs as Hours spent working, energy exerted, how much a company pays you per year, how much it costs you to employ yourself.

As you can see there are a lot of different inputs and outputs that you can put into the equation. The key is figuring out the best one for your position. A quick example…

Say you’re an author,  you could decide to measure your productivity on how many words you write a day. 

And for the sake of this example say you can write 60,000 words a day. In theory your writing a book a day and at first glace the reaction is, that’s incredible. But the reality of the situation is that is that writing the words doesn’t get us to the real goal of producing a book we can sell, meaning it’s a good book. With that in mind you should be measuring how many finished books you can produce a year. 

Key here to understand your end goal or the end goal of a position you’re looking to measure and build the productivity equation from there.

Ditch the one-size-fits-all productivity myths., experiment, track your results, and adjust as needed until you get to measuring the thing that truly gets you to your end goal. 

Your move.

If you liked this post you’ll ❤️ the…PRODUCTIVITY Podcast I host where you get a daily dose of productivity in LESS than 4 minutes a day.