Productivity – How to Be Efficient for Simple, Happy Living

Productivity is the act of getting the job done, meeting the goals, and feeling like you’ve accomplished something.  We’ve all experienced challenges with productivity, at work and in life.  Let’s take a deeper dive into productivity.

Productivity is how we measure input and output, and this is highly dependent upon the environment we work in.  It’s important because getting things done makes us feel successful and like our time was worth it. Efficiency, effective work, and consistent work are important for highest productivity.

Do you ever wonder why we do the things we do at home and at work?  Do you know that feeling when you complete a job and look back to think it was worth the work?

What Is Productivity?

Productivity is defined as the measure of output (goods and services) produced compared to input (amount of work and resources).  Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder go a step further to say that the work environment has an effect on drive and productivity, hence affecting output.  Work, and productivity, are not limited to the office building or the classroom-it happens at home as well.

Productivity - Self Care - Gone Minimal

Why is Productivity Important?

Productivity is important because it means we’re getting something done, and that feels great.  When we set goals and deadlines, put in the work, see the finished product and meet the goals, this encourages us to continue working and doing more. 

And it’s not limited to our jobs and careers, productivity also applies to work around the home.  The feeling of accomplishment is like no other: it’s setting goals and succeeding and seeing that we were able to do something.  When you get something done, don’t you just feel proud and like you want to do more?

Productivity Tips

Productivity tips can help you maximize your efficiency and accomplish your tasks effectively. They may include setting clear goals and prioritizing tasks to meet them. Practicing effective time management using calendars and to-do lists can help you focus on important tasks. It’s important to remember that productivity tips may vary in effectiveness depending on individual preferences and work styles. Experiment with different strategies and find what works best for you.

It’s not just about where we work and who we work with, it’s also about how we work.  Here are some tips to help you be more productive.

Do more - Productivity - Gone Minimal
Do more

Efficient Productivity

The best way to be productive is with efficiency.  What that means is the steps to getting a job done should be straightforward and not require any excess effort.  A simpler way to think of it is this: the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  Sometimes the best way to efficient productivity is with the use of a plan and strategic goals.

Effective Productivity

Another piece of productivity is working effectively.  This means that the work you do will propel you towards your goals, rather than just being an arbitrary thing.  Don’t work just to work-do the work that is meaningful and a step towards success.  This also means you get the job done-and you save time!

Staying Productive

Staying productive can be challenging when there are obstacles.  This can be anything from running out of a certain supply, being short on time, complications that arise, or even changes in the end goals.  There are several things you can do to contribute to staying productive like taking breaks, asking for help, making sure you have everything you need when you begin, and even using things to stimulate your creativity like music (or even caffeine). 

Person running - Productivity - Gone Minimal
Person running

When working from home, researchers from the University of Chicago found that distractions like children, non-dedicated work space, and family members can slow down productivity, so set boundaries and ask for help to keep up the pace.

Using Productivity to Work Smarter

A wise man once said, “work smart, not hard”.  Racing in a road bike race, he taught me that using the appropriate gearing on the bike will make the bike go faster than just pushing harder on the pedals.  So take the steps in advance to make sure you’re doing the job appropriately, with the right resources, and ask for help when you need it.  Here are some tips for working smarter:

  • Do similar tasks at the same time.
  • Take breaks.
  • Set reasonable goals.
  • Celebrate small wins.
  • Delegate tasks to others.
  • Don’t multitask.
  • Ignore or silence notifications.
  • Put your phone away.

Now if you’re calling foul on that last tip, hear me out.  Phones are distracting with their emails, text messages, and especially social media.  If you’re using your phone to help you be productive, turn off those notifications to prevent the excess time that’s usually spent on non-work related activities!  If you’ve already turned them off, then kudos to you!!

Take your productivity thinking to a whole new level in this helpful Ted Talk.

Areas of Productivity

Productivity in Life

In life we can be productive at many things.  Learning new skills, completing education and certification programs, raising children, and helping others are all examples of productivity in life.  Everyone has different definitions of productivity in life, and none of them are wrong.  Life brings us many challenges, and sometimes being productive at it is surviving another day.

Life brings us many challenges, and sometimes being productive at it is surviving another day.”

Productivity in Work

Work is the easiest and most challenging for productivity.  There are many potential barriers to productivity that we must work through to be successful.  But completing goals, finishing tasks, clearing out our email inbox, and meeting deadlines are good ways of being productive in work.  Also-it’s good to collaborate with coworkers and even talk with them up to a point.  If it takes away from your productivity, set some boundaries.

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Productivity at Home

Productivity at home can be difficult at times because it’s where we want to relax at the end of the day.  But there are always tasks to complete at home that can contribute to that feeling of productivity.  Cleaning the home, caring for animals and children, finishing that load of laundry, painting the bedroom, gardening, and yard work completion can give you a great feeling before relaxing in the evening.

Productivity in Teams

Teamwork makes the dream work, and every member of the team has a different outlook on productivity.  It can be achieved, however, with communication and working with everyone’s strengths.  The person who’s weak at documentation may be the chief communicator, while the person who doesn’t like an idea may be best at setting the timeline for the team.  Capitalize on member strengths for the most productivity in teams.

Productivity Tools

Productivity Planner

Using productivity tools like planners can help with taking notes, keeping track of meetings and deadlines, and keeping goals tangible on paper.  If you’re the hands-on or kinesthetic type of person, having a planner you can hold and write in will work well for you with productivity and successfully reaching your goals.

Make a plan - Productivity - Gone Minimal
Make a plan

Productivity Apps

There’s an app for everything, even productivity!  Popular apps for productivity are like putting a planner on your phone, which you’re accessing already for your calendar and contacts anyways.  So if your phone is integral to your work and productivity, consider some productivity apps to keep you on track.

Related Insights

What Are the 4 Essential Components of Productivity?

The 4 essential components of productivity are planning ability, focus, consistency, and choosing wisely.  When any of these are lacking or absent, productivity usually slows down or grinds to a halt.

What Are the Factors of Productivity?

Productivity is highly subjective considering where the work is done, but the factors of productivity include available supplies, people to do the work, space to do the work, and availability of necessary tools.

How Do You Show Productivity at Work?

There are many ways to show productivity at work.  Consider things like prompt communication (respond to emails), submitting required work, meeting deadlines, participation in meetings, and showing up on time and prepared.

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Some Things People Do To Be and Stay Productive

Ask 5 friends or family members to list things they do to be or stay productive.  Here is what they shared and what I learned from the poll:

Things People DoTally of Family/Friends
Watch a how-to video2
Play music3
Set goals2
Take breaks3
Ask for help2
Start when ready2
Eliminate distractions3
Work with the right people4
Use a calendar/schedule3

Other Resources:

It doesn’t matter if you’re at home, at work, or at work at home.  Productivity is key to getting the job done, and without the right tools and supplies it just can’t be done.  Being prepared, using the right tools, and taking steps to help you stay on track can help you be more productive and more successful.  What tools do you use to stay productive?

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