Introduction to Productivity
By the end of this lesson, you are expected to:
– understand what productivity means
– focus on the most important points to improve your productivity
– get an insight into successful people’s daily routine
Do you remember that we mentioned a few productivity techniques in the first week of the Entrepreneurship module, saying that we would discuss those techniques more in detail later? Well, the time has come!
This week we are going to teach you some techniques to be very effective at work and get more done than most people around you, which is one of the most effective ways to boost your career.
With The Lean MBA, you’ve taken a big step towards leading by knowledge. This week offers you a way to develop skills to show leadership by effectiveness at work.
Productivity is the measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory, system, etc., in converting inputs into useful outputs. Productivity is computed by dividing average output per period by the total costs incurred or resources (capital, energy, material, personnel) consumed in that period.
The good news (for lazy people)
Productivity is more about doing the things that have the greatest output and impact, rather than figuring out how you can allocate the maximum amount of time to work in a week.
Armed with a strong idea and work ethic and determined to be the best, it pays off: Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates for example are among the wealthiest people in the world, and beyond that, each of them controls a technology that has the capacity to change society in irreversible ways (Bill Gates stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in February 2014 but remains powerful at Microsoft as he still serves as “technology adviser” of the CEO, currently Satya Nadella).
That’s the reason why we will be teaching you a few ways to work smarter.
The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the “law of the vital few”, or the “principle of factor sparsity”) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
The concept comes from the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who noted the 80/20 connection while at the University of Lausanne in 1896, as published in his first paper, “Cours d’économie politique”.
Essentially, Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; Pareto developed the principle by observing that about 20% of the peapods in his garden contained 80% of the peas… Pareto developed both concepts in the context of the distribution of income and wealth among the population.
#1 Think positively
#2 Eat healthy
#4 Worry less
#5 Work hard
#6 Sleep well
#7 Review your goals and plan the next day
The funny thing about this “grandma’s list of productivity tips” is that it is probably the thing that has the greatest effects on productivity, but very few people have such a routine.
“I do a lot of email—very good at email. That’s my core competency.”joked Musk at a 2013 conference.
“But what I find is I’m able to be with [my kids] and still be on email. I can be with them and still be working at the same time … If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to get my job done.”
Mondays are for management, Tuesdays are focused on product, Wednesdays are for marketing and communication, and so on.
“It sets a good cadence for the rest of the company,” he said, and helps him stay focused on broad topics rather than getting too distracted.
“There are no extra points in business for growing headcount. The goal is not to grow headcount; the goal is to serve readers, and then you work backward from there”.
Also available in the further readings section.