Everyone wants to improve productivity – in our personal lives as well as in the business arena. But what does it mean to track and measure productivity, and how do we do it? Before we go any further, it’s important to define what productivity is: productivity is the state of being able to generate or create goods and services.
As an example, think about how productive you are when you’re scrolling through your social media feed. Are you actually able to create something out of that? If you’re networking on Facebook, then yes. But if you’re mindlessly scrolling through your feed without taking action to create something, then you aren’t being productive.
Here are some ways you can track and measure productivity in your personal life and in business:
There are certain ways you can calculate how productive your organization is:
Revenue per employee:
this helps you figure out how much revenue each employee brings to the table, or how productive they are. Divide the total revenue of your business by the total number of employees. The figure you come up with helps you determine what each team member contributes (or isn’t) to the bottom line; and what value each brings to the company.
Time tracking and project management software:
Using online time tracking and project management tools such as software and apps can help you track productivity in just a few minutes. These will require employees to submit electronic copies of timesheets, which managers can use to check how their team is doing at a glance. Some kinds of software also enable you to run performance-based reports to see who among your employees are closing the most sales, or investing time looking for leads online.
Profit = productivity:
In business, it’s pretty simple and logical to say that profit equals productivity. Even small businesses can benefit by measuring productivity based on profit because it’s simple and straight to the point.
Track the time you use for certain tasks: identifying how much time you spent on social media versus getting things done is the only way you can accurately tell if you’re being productive or not. Guesswork won’t cut it here; using time tracking tools can show you just how much time certain daily tasks take. However, the key here is to not lie to yourself. If you’re browsing social media, log it. Try this for at least a week and see what you come up with – the results may be surprising but will show you where you’re being the least productive so that you can change your habits
Have you ever started your day with a long to-do list, but ended the day with only a few completed? Learning to appreciate and maximize something as simple as a checklist on a piece of paper can help you track your productivity. If you’re able to check off every item on your list, or at least more than usual, then you know you’re being productive.
Create a schedule:
Tasks won’t accomplish themselves without a little bit of planning on your end. The very simple task of creating a schedule for your personal goals can help you effectively allocate time dedicated to doing nothing but that one task. If you still manage to go off schedule by doing something else, then you aren’t productive; the goal is to stay on track to actually get things done.
Track your online activity:
If you live in the digital world, knowing where you spend most time online can help determine if you’re being productive or not. How many hours a week do you spend reading up on industry news versus social media? Website tracking tools will help you identify where you spend the most unproductive hours on so that you can focus on spending more time in areas which contribute to your productivity.