There are many different types of productivity. And many different definitions.
GDP per capita is an indicator of economic productivity within a country.
Finished cars per day is an indicator of productivity within a car factory.
There are lots more that you could think of.
But look a little closer at the above two examples. They share a common element – time. Whether it’s a second or a year, productivity is about how much of something gets done within some unit of time.
This morning I was listening to a podcast that made the common mistake of simply equating productivity with getting more done.
Ok – the person saying it may have meant “per unit of time”. But they didn’t say it.
They may also have equated “more done” with “more of the right stuff done” but, again, they didn’t say it.
When those elements – time and the right stuff – are not included – whether the exclusion is accidental or deliberate – you get a flawed definition of productivity.
In my work with business owners it’s not about activity. It’s about achievement.
It’s not about throwing more hours at work. It’s about relentless focus on what’s important.
You’re not a robot who just needs to be programmed with a power source. You are human. As such, you’re guaranteed a downward spiral unless you operate at a sustainable level. You’ll damage your (mental and physical) health if you work too much. Your relationships and hobbies will suffer if you’re too immersed in your business.
“But Brendan…” I hear you say – “there’s an economic imperative too to consider“.
I get that. Believe you me I get that. I’m in the exact same situation. I’m a small-business owner too. And this is my busiest time of the year. Last week was my birthday. After (unavoidable) work, I enjoyed a delicious meal with my family and went for a long walk with my wife. But it would have been “easy” to have no meal or walk and instead go back to the office to face the never-ending todo list.
Here is the productivity drum that I beat: that your productivity as a business-owner is how much of the important stuff you get done in the controlled & limited amount of time you devote to your business. And it’s the exact same with me!
And how do I help? Well, you’ll have to start paying me to get the details on the “how”. But underpinning all I do is an ongoing supportive effort to boost your productivity as per the above definition.
If you are happy with your productivity, and your business is where you want it to be, and you’re able to be attentive to your health, relationships, interests & hobbies, then carry on just as you are!
But if that’s not the situation, do one or more of the following:
1: Sign up for my regular emails on productivity and effectiveness here.
2: Grab my ebook – Get Off The Hamster Wheel: The Smart Business Owner’s Productivity Bible.