What Is Productivity?

Productivity can mean different things in different settings. A work setting has a very different idea of productivity than a stay-at-home mom. The main idea is the same though – how much work is getting done?

Productivity is a measure of work in a certain amount of time. However, the specifics can change depending on who is looking at what is productivity.

Looking at these differences in productivity can really highlight some of the best parts about it.

What Your Employer Sees Productivity As:

At work, your management has a very straight-forward view of productivity. It is how much work is getting done during your shift. They can keep track of that based on reports and monitoring. It doesn’t matter if you are a lawyer working on different cases or working in a factory making doo-dads, your employer is checking on how productive you are.

It’s very blunt and simple in this setting. And, even more so, there are quotas that must be met. Your employer is going to have a much more narrow view of what constitutes as being productive.

What You See Productivity As:

Your own views of productivity are going to be much more all-encompassing than how your employer sees it. Productivity is not just about work – it includes your home life as well. A productive day isn’t just about completing work, but can include housework, family time, and even personal time.

Being productive for individuals isn’t so much about how much gets done in a certain time, but a feeling of accomplishment for completing or doing things. There are people that feel it was a productive day if he/she managed to discuss that large project with a team member.

Being productive for us is getting things done that we want to do whereas employers see it as things that have to get done. The difference between need and want is the biggest difference of what is productivity between employers and everyone else.

Ways To Measure Productivity:

As mentioned previously, managers are going to have their own specific ways to measure your productivity through reports and calculations. Those are specific to your job and should be a great guideline for how to measure how productive you are.

The easiest way to measure your own productivity is to create a to-do list of tasks for the day – things that you feel you absolutely must get done, but keep it reasonable. After you complete each task, cross it off the list. At the end of the day, see where you stand. If you crossed off every item on that list, you must have had a very productive day.

Here is where it gets tricky though – if the first item on your list was “Clean out the Garage” and that took you all day, you’re still going to feel like you had an incredibly productive day. Even if you didn’t get around to everything else. Big tasks can easily give us that feeling of being productive.

There are apps that you can download to your phone that can also help you measure how productive you are. You can use lists or calendars. Or, you can keep track of all of your actions and gather a weekly report to show you what you’ve done. However you want to keep track of your own productivity, there is an app for that.


The best part about productivity is that there is no one size fits all standards. You can have different standards at different points in the day. And, there is no one way to measure how productive you are. It can become a truly personalized mission.

What your boss sees as productive is very straight-forward and easily measured through reports. We can always look to our companies or managers to find out about what equals productive during the day.

Our personal productivity can be a different beast and it’s truly up to us how we want to define it and measure it. To-do lists, calendars, and even programs can help us. And thankfully, there are options for whatever way we choose to measure how productive we are.

Looking at and highlighting the differences of productivity can truly show us what is most important for us as individuals. By examining this, we can then create goals for ourselves and individualize a plan to become completely productive at anything. There is no right or wrong way to become more time efficient. `

Leave a Comment: