Measuring Productivity

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure”

At the end of the day:

1) How many tasks were competed?

2) How much of your discretionary or free time was well spent?

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. This video explains the Pareto Principle.

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) 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? Evaluate, Simplify, Be more efficient, Be more effective. Eliminate tasks that are not meaningful to you. Automate those that remain.

Then add in 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: Time Table | Time Wasters and Solutions | How to 80/20 Your Life from Mark Manson

By dailyplanit Posted in goals

21 comments on “Measuring Productivity

  1. Pingback: Life.Stream for 2009-03-01 | Shawn's Thoughts

  2. 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?!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!


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  6. 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!

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    new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Carry on the fantastic work!

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