Measuring Productivity


At the end of the day:

1) How many tasks on your to-do list were competed?

2) How much of your time was spent on things that contribute to mission & goals? How much of your discretionary or free time was well spent? (measure with a time audit)

The Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule says that 80% of the output or results will come from 20% of the input or action. This principle, discovered by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, illustrates the importance of using the small amount of discretionary time available to maximize results. The majority of our time use goes toward maintenance, work duties, and repeating tasks. That’s why it’s so important to use the small percentage of remaining time effectively. Watch these two videos that explain the Pareto Principle: Brian Tracy, and Frank Borg. Check out the Pareto Principle Board at Pinterest.

pareto principle

pareto principle

3) How many of the tasks accomplished were in the Important/Not Urgent Quadrant of Stephen R Covey’s time management matrix? (Also known as the Eisenhower Matrix) Learn more about setting priorities. This video explains the Eisenhower Matrix.

time management matrix

time management matrix

Measure productivity with daily and weekly scorecards to track 1) actions completed 2) time spent in important tasks of Quadrant II and 3) productive use of discretionary time. Followers of “Getting Things Done” (aka gtd) ideas or any other productivity system will enjoy this fun and easy way to track productivity. A method that could be used for adding notes is the slash/dot system proposed by Patrick Rhone.


The goal of productivity is to…

DECREASE the amount of time spent on maintenance and repeating tasks, and INCREASE the amount of free time available to use in the way you choose. How? Use the Time Table to: Evaluate, Simplify, Be more efficient, Be more effective. Eliminate tasks that are not meaningful to you. Automate those that remain.

INCREASE the activities that ARE meaningful to you. There’s no point in increasing the amount of free time available, unless you use it well. How? 1. Be very aware of how you WANT to use it. Clarify how you want to add value. 2. Be very aware of how you ARE using it. Focus on how you want to add value.

See Also: How to tame Time Wasters: Time Wasters and Solutions and Optimize Your Day with the Science of Productivity

Learn more: The Pareto (80/20) Principle at Better Explained, and How to 80/20 Your Life from Mark Manson

I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

Posted in goals
21 comments on “Measuring Productivity
  1. […] Shared 2 links on Google Reader. (Show Details)Creating a logo for your blog [blogging 101]Measuring Productivity […]

  2. Jamel says:

    Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

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  3. for the not important squares, they should be dismissed rather than avoided. There is no reason to keep them on your mind at all.

  4. Anca says:

    Without measuring productivity, managing it would be made blindly. This kind of tools are a must for someone who cares about productivity…and…let’s be serious: who doesn’t?!

  5. I really like the matrix showing how we work on things that aren’t valuable. The Pareto principle is very good, but we often overlook just how hard it is to know what 20% we should be working on.

  6. Jennifer Rai says:

    Thank you for a great read!

  7. The graph or matrix (whatever you want to call it) is great and simple. A lot of people get burnout or stressed because they don’t know how to manage things and measure their productivity. People should really see to it that everything is balanced. The matrix and the graph shows that it is not actually needed to exert 100% every time. There are times that productivity should be controlled to give way to other small but important things.

    Thank you for sharing this!


  8. excellent article we will see if I read this I upload my level or production

  9. very good site! Find lots of information very useful,
    thank you very much! I will continue reading your tips! greetings

  10. I agree with Alex opinion, productivity is important, measuring it is not only good is a necessity, its true that productivity needs to be established as a pillar in our behavior, however not all things in life are productivity they are various activities whether is listening to music for example or just relaxing with a nice cup of coffee, all of these aspects contribute in our ability to organize, therefor a good rest its also necessary.

    Thnks for the post!

  11. Persianas says:

    I think is an excellent article we will see if I read this I upload my level or production more than last year with this tips.

  12. […] Maximize your use of available free time. […]

  13. […] activities that yield 80 percent results. See also The Pareto Principle Illustrated and Measuring Productivity. Share this:ShareEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  14. […] Power” by Jim Temme-80/20 rule, similarities of projects & […]

  15. Hi there! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my
    new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
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  16. […] quadrant of Stephen R Covey’s time management matrix is this task […]

  17. […] get sidetracked by time wasters. Be aware of the Pareto Principle, and make wise use of the small amount of discretionary or free time […]

  18. […] aware of the Pareto Principle, and Maximize your use of available free […]

  19. […] Measuring Productivity […]

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