We often think that productivity is about getting more done in less time. But true productivity is about getting the right things done.
I teach people and organizations to be more productive. But what exactly does that word mean: productivity. I find that most people feel it means getting more things done in a shorter amount of time. But I don't particularly like that definition. That puts too much emphasis on quantity and not enough on quality. You see I think the best type of productivity is about getting the right things done, not just about getting more things done.
Let me give you an example. At the end of your work day, let's say you have two employees approach you. The first one proudly says that they had 27 things that they crossed off of their to-do list. The second one says that they only crossed off 3 things off of their to-do list. Now which of these two employees was more productive?
If you think it's the first one, you need to dive a bit deeper as into what did those activities involve. If most of those 27 to-dos included email, short phone calls, and other menial tasks, it would be hard to argue that they were the more productive individual. Especially if the second employee, the one who only had 3 things checked off, really pushed things forward. If they really brought a lot of value to their big projects or to their teams. In that case we would clearly state that the second employee was the more productive individual.
Remember, any fool can be busy. You don't need an education or experience to be busy and therefore have a lot of things on your plate or get a lot of things done. But to be a productive individual, you need to be able to get the right things done. You need to be able to focus and achieve your most important work.
So remember the true definition, the best definition of productivity to ensure that you get the most out of yours and your organization's day. It's very simple.