Traditionally, productivity is defined as the amount of work produced in a given time period. In today’s world, however, this definition is no longer relevant. After all, it is increasingly difficult to focus on one task at a time due to a flood of information and distractions. In addition, we must be able to manage our work and personal lives sustainably.

In light of this, it’s time we redefined productivity to mean more than just completing tasks. The goal is to work efficiently, effectively, and sustainably. Moreover, to be productive and fulfilled, we must find a balance between work and personal life.

The Problem with Traditional Productivity

Typical productivity metrics include a person’s email volume, code output, or sales closings. Despite this, these metrics don’t reveal much about the quality or impact of the work.

In sales, for instance, a salesperson may close a lot of sales, but those sales might not result in long-term customer relationships. Also, there are many ways that a software engineer can write code, but that code could be buggy or inefficient if it’s written poorly.

It is also problematic that the traditional definition of productivity does not factor in worker well-being. In the short term, working long hours can be productive, but it is not sustainable in the long run. It is inevitable that burnout will occur at some point.

Aside from encouraging people to work longer hours, traditional productivity metrics also promote multitasking. However, research suggests that this leads to lower quality and reduced productivity.

A New Definition of Productivity

There is no doubt that productivity needs to be redefined. To redefine productivity, we should consider the following:

  • Impact. Creating work that has a positive impact on the world is what really matters. A good example would be working on projects that solve significant problems for team members or create customer value.
  • Quality. Producing a small amount of high-quality work is always better than producing a large amount of low-quality work. Investing in high-quality work will produce a more positive impact and a longer-term benefit.
  • Well-being. The well-being of employees shouldn’t be sacrificed for productivity. Maintaining a balance between work and life and taking care of oneself should always be a priority.

To redefine your own productivity, follow these tips:

  • Set clear goals. In your career and in your personal life, what do you hope to accomplish? When you know what you want to accomplish, you can focus your energy and time on the most important things.
  • Prioritize your work. It is not true that all work is created equal. Some work is more valuable and important than others. Spend your time on the things that will have the most significant impact by prioritizing your work.
  • Take breaks. Taking breaks throughout the day is important, even if it is just for a few minutes. You can stay focused and productive if you get up and move around regularly.
  • Delegate and outsource. Consider delegating or outsourcing tasks if you can. Doing this lets you focus on what is most important to you.
  • Take care of yourself. It is important to take care of your physical and mental health. Take care of your health by getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. Aside from finding time for relaxing activities, you should also enjoy activities you enjoy.

Redefining productivity doesn’t just mean changing how we work. Changing our mindset about work is also part of the process. We can create a more sustainable and fulfilling work environment by focusing on impact, quality, and well-being.

In addition to these thoughts, here are some more:

  • Working more hours does not increase productivity. It’s all about working smarter. Automate tasks, delegate work, and use technology to your advantage.
  • Being productive doesn’t mean being perfect. Making progress is the goal. Don’t let your fear of making mistakes stop you from taking action.
  • It is not necessary to sacrifice your personal life in order to be productive. The key is to find a balance between work and life. Work hard, but don’t forget to live.

To redefine productivity, we need to embark on a journey, not arrive at a destination. After all, changing the way we work and think about work takes time and effort. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile journey. By redefining productivity, we create a more sustainable, fulfilling, and impactful work environment.

Examples of How People Redefined Productivity

In their own lives, these people have redefined productivity:

  • Known for his book “The 4-Hour Workweek,” Tim Ferriss has redefined productivity by focusing on impact and quality. “If I have 10 important things to do in a day, it’s 100% certain that nothing important will get done on that day. On the other hand, I can usually handle one must-do item and block out my lesser behaviors for 2-3 hours a day,” he says.
  • Basecamp, a popular project management tool, was founded by David Heinemeier Hansson. By emphasizing well-being, Hansson redefined productivity. Work-life balance and self-care are essential to him. He believes you can build a profitable business if you work 10 hours a week and by using existing business models.
  • Laura Vanderkam is a time management expert and the author of “168 Hours.” Vanderkam believes we all have 168 hours a week, and it’s up to us how we spend them. Her advice is to track your time so you can see what you are actually doing with your time.
  • Derek Sivers founded CD Baby, an online music store that he sold for $22 million in 2008. Sivers has redefined productivity by saying yes to less. “When deciding whether to do something, if you feel anything less than ‘Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!’ — then say no.”
  • Jack Dorsey was the CEO of both Twitter and Square at one time. How was he able to be productive enough to run two companies? “The way I found that works for me is I theme my days,” he explained.


What is productivity?

Productivity is the ability to convert inputs into outputs efficiently. As a measure of productivity in the workplace, the quantity of output produced per unit of time or input is often used.

Why is it important to redefine productivity?

Several important factors contribute to productivity, such as output, efficiency, creativity, and sustainability.

Individuals and organizations need to be considered in a redefined productivity approach.

What are some of the benefits of redefining productivity?

Redefining productivity has several benefits.

Firstly, it can improve economic sustainability and equity. We will more likely produce goods and services that society needs and values when we focus on outcomes rather than output. As a result, productivity benefits will also be distributed more fairly.

In addition, redefining productivity can result in a happier and healthier workforce. People are more satisfied with their work and less likely to experience burnout when focusing on well-being and sustainability. Innovation and productivity can be increased as a result.

How can I start to redefine productivity in my own life?

You can do several things to start redefining productivity in your own life. First, take some time to reflect on your values and priorities. What is important to you? What do you want to achieve in your life? Once you better understand your values and priorities, you can start making choices that align with them.

Second, focus on outcomes rather than output. What do you want to achieve with your work? Once you have a clear idea of your desired outcomes, you can develop a plan to achieve them. This plan may involve setting goals, identifying resources, and delegating tasks.

Third, prioritize your well-being. Take breaks, get enough sleep, and eat healthy foods. You should also create a work environment that is supportive and stress-free.

Finally, consider the environmental impact of your work. Look for ways to reduce paper consumption, recycle waste, and use energy-efficient appliances. You can also support businesses that are committed to sustainability.

How can I redefine productivity in my workplace?

As a leader, you can redefine productivity in your workplace by doing the following:

  • Encouraging employees to take care of themselves. To ensure employees have enough sleep, healthy foods, and exercise, provide them with the necessary time and resources.
  • Creating a supportive and inclusive work environment. Employees who feel valued and supported are more likely to be productive.
  • Setting realistic goals and expectations. Employees should not be overburdened with work or expected to be on call 24 hours a day.
  • Providing opportunities for employees to learn and grow. When employees are challenged and have opportunities to learn new things, they will be more engaged and productive.
  • Recognizing and rewarding employees for their hard work. Employees should be recognized for their contributions.

Redefining productivity goes beyond just working less and being more efficient. The goal is to live a more balanced and fulfilling life. The tips above will help you redefine productivity in your life and workplace.

Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels; Thank you!