With productivity outcomes are more important than speed

I’m not trying to offend anyone but I want to share a trend emerging of how misinformed some in the workforce are becoming regarding the topic of productivity. You know the people who proudly state how productive they are because they work so fast. Now speed is an aspect of productivity but it’s only 1 element and nowhere near as important as outcomes.

Type time management into Google and there are 97,700,000 hits!!! That’s a lot of productivity tips readily available at our fingertips, but just because we’ve read something doesn’t mean we’re expert at it. It’s like if you’re unwell would you trust self-diagnosing on Google more than you would a diagnosis from your doctor? 

A way to qualify how productive someone is to drill down and ask them how they’re tracking against their key targeted outcomes. If you hear a bunch of excuses or it’s apparent that the person hasn’t made sufficient progress, then maybe they’re not all that effective. Quite simply productivity is more about outcomes and less about speed.

Naturally, if you want to be more productive then exploit whatever ways possible to process your work quickly, but also:

  • Identify and action what’s important – there’s no point in actioning 9 out of 10 items on a task list if 9 of them have minor importance and the 1 you didn’t do is critically important
  • Measure yourself on the results that matter – what are the activities and results which determine success? These are the areas that should be measured

And finally get clarity. This is where coaching from a productivity expert can really help to embed the behaviours that enable the achievement of outcomes in less time. Find your productivity rhythm that helps you to be successful.