Productivity is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but why is productivity important?
Companies are obsessed with finding ways to become more productive, and employees want to find ways to get more out of their days. As productivity has become more and more of a buzzword, some of its meaning has been lost. The word now seems to mean different things to different people.
To help sum up all of the meaning embedded in the word, this article will enumerate five different reasons why productivity is important.
Here are five points about productivity that will help clarify what this term encompasses and give you ideas on how to make yourself more productive.
1. The Textbook Definition
As mentioned above, there are so many different definitions for productivity depending on who you ask. Therefore, it is worth spending some time to go over the official textbook definition of the word so that you know what exactly what is being discussed in this article.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics presents a simple definition of productivity.
While one way of increasing the output, the work completed, of a given business is to give it more of the supplies it needs to produce its goods and services.
However, this creates a problem. With more supplies, more workers are required to process those supplies.
For example, with a firm analyzing data, one way of making it more profitable is to increase the number of orders it has for data analysis.
With the increased number of orders, the firm would, in theory, need more people to process the data, assuming a fixed level of productivity.
However, if they were able to improve productivity somehow, the same number of workers would now be able to process more data. Simply put in layman’s terms, increasing productivity means that you (or a firm in general) can complete more work in a given period than you were before.
2. Being Productive Feels Good
Productivity is good for your mental health, it just feels good when you are able to get everything done that you want.
This may sound cliché or obvious, but consider how different it feels at the end of the day when you have completed all of the work that you hoped for as opposed to only finishing parts of your checklist.
Packing up from work feels satisfying when you have done all of the things you set out to do. Furthermore, it feels like you accomplished something with your time in the day.
Alternatively, failing to complete all of the tasks you set out for yourself during the day doesn’t leave you feeling great. You feel like you were unable to do everything that you were supposed to do.
As a result, your work starts to pile up, or even worse, you have to take work home with you.
In this regard, being a productive worker is good for your mental health. By working productively, you will make the best use of your time at work and feel pleased with the results you see from yourself.
While inevitably there will be day that you are unable to finish all of your tasks due to reasons out of your control, those occurrences will be few and far between.
In sum, being a productive worker will help you improve your mental health by letting you see how much you have accomplished in a given day. Rather than watching your work pile up and become an unconquerable mountain of tasks that keep getting pushed to the next day.
3. Being Productive Is Infectious
Being more productive does not just help you, it can start to create an entire culture of productivity in your office.
It is easy for you and a bunch of employees to slack off and not work as hard as you should. However, when one person starts trying hard, you and those around you will take notice and start to double your efforts as well.
This creates a snowball effect, as no one wants to be letting the rest of the team down. As a result, you will feed off each other’s harder work. Before you know it, your entire office will be pulling off tasks that some might not have thought were possible beforehand.
A more productive office will very easily translate into a happier office, as you will be more excited to come in each day and get your work done.
You will no longer see work as a waste of time or something to be dreaded, but rather an opportunity to go out and make a real impact. As productivity builds in an office, so too will camaraderie and a sense of purpose, making you and those around you feel good about your jobs.
4. Productivity Can Increase Your Value
In addition to the benefits to your mental health and the culture of an office, becoming a more productive worker can have very tangible effects on your value as a worker.
If you are looking for a raise or thinking of changing jobs in the future, you will be able to command a much higher salary as a productive worker as opposed to a lazy one.
When the time comes to negotiate a higher salary, doing so as a productive worker allows you to negotiate from a position of strength.
In addition to all of the benefits that being more productive has on your mental state, and they are considerable, there are also important benefits to your life as well.
You will be able to command higher wages, either in your current job or in a new one, and these higher wages may end up leading to a higher standard of living for you in the future.
5. How To Be More Productive?
All of this discussion of the many benefits of productivity is great, but the question remains how do you become more productive?
There are many different answers to this question, meaning that there are many different methods you can use to boost your productivity.
If you notice that you are not getting enough done at work by the end of the day, simple tricks like creating to-do lists, eliminating distractions, and organizing your work can have an outsize impact on your overall productivity.
The good news is that these fixes are really easy to make, they just require your mental commitment and self-discipline more than anything else.
However, how do you become more productive if you are focused, not wasting time, and still unable to get everything done in a day that you were supposed to?
Typically, there are two potential answers to this question.
Firstly, are there ways for you to get more training in your job? It could be that there are some extra skills specific to your work that you still need to learn to be as productive as some of your coworkers.
If this is the case, then training courses or online modules may be able to remedy this.
Secondly, you might have too much on your plate. While you may strive to increase your productivity, sometimes the workload is too much to get through in a single day.
In these instances, talk to your boss about hiring additional resources to help with the work load, or distribute to others who are not as busy as you.
At the end of the day, productivity is all about making more or doing more, with the resources that are available for you to use.
Building up a positive work culture of productivity can be contagious and help to keep you and your coworkers focused. As you feed off each other, everyone will start working a little harder and a little smarter, thus building a more friendly office culture.
Additionally, there are personal benefits to making yourself more productive as well. You will feel happier at the end of the day if you leave work, having accomplished all of the tasks you set out to complete. Especially if you don’t have to bring your work home with you.
Furthermore, by making yourself a more productive worker, you can command higher wages as the value you bring to a team is greater than others.
The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?
eightysixfourhundred, make them count