In today’s hectic world, we often get judged by how productive we are during certain periods of time when we are expected to contribute our efforts, whether at home or at the workplace. As we try to juggle our careers and personal lives, we get reprimanded or pressured for not meeting the expectations for us in relation to the quantity of work that we have been expected to contribute at a particular point in time. As a result, we always come up with various strategies to get things done within the required time. However, but as the saying goes, work smarter not harder. And those that work hard instead of smart will find that their efforts go to waste. The problem is that many are ignorant in terms of how to utilize the time given to them, and how to improve their efficiency. However, if we attempt to numerically analyze our efforts in handling tasks and evaluate the effectiveness of productivity-improvement strategies, we will be able to better formulate and implement compatible strategies to improve our efficiency.
The definition of productivity is straightforward, allowing us to measure our productivity rates when handling tasks assigned to us, and it is defined as “a measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory, system, etc., in converting inputs into useful outputs”. Thus, from a mathematical point of view, it is logically possible to measure our productivity rates through mathematics and the formula in general is the ratio of an output during a period of time to the relevant input during that period of time.
In economics, the labour productivity of a country is measured from dividing the real gross domestic product (GDP) generated during a period of time by the labor hours worked during that period of time, resulting in a numerical value in GDP per labour hour, which means that the higher the GDP per labour hour, the more productive the country. On top of measuring labour productivity, in order to formulate improvement strategies, labour productivity growth is computed. It is calculated by dividing the change in the computed GDP per labour hour over a period of time, usually in years, by the period. With this numerical method, proper strategies can be implemented by a country to increase its labour productivity growth via introducing education, developing new technologies and giving target incentives, all of those have varying impacts on the growth of labour productivity.
At workplaces, numerical analyses can be conducted to ascertain the overall productivity of the workforce. The workforce productivity can be computed from the output that employees contribute to during a certain period of time and the relevant input that employees invest during that period of time. Depending on the sort of productivity that is to be measured, in the case of a production-related productivity, the output can be the number of products produced during a period and the input shall be the number of employee hours invested during that exact period, the calculation of which provides a numerical value in the form of number of products produced per employee hour. This value can further be utilized to ascertain the productivity growth of the workforce. In this case, the productivity growth of the workforce can be computed from dividing the change in the calculated number of products produced per employee hour over a certain period, often in the form of years, by the period. This calculation enables proper strategies, such as requesting the employees, investing in new technologies and decreasing hours of work to undertake training, to be implemented to increase the calculated productivity growth. According to a study conducted at Northwestern University, it was found that there is a strong correlation between workplace daylight exposure and office workers’ sleep, quality of life and activity, which means that having employees exposed to natural lighting may indirectly increase their productivity rates.
We can also improve ourselves in terms of productivity when it comes to undertaking simple and fruitful tasks, such as reading books with the intention of broadening our knowledge. The numerical method that is utilized in economics and adopted to analyze workplace productivity can be used here. In terms of reading educational or non-fiction books, productivity can be enhanced drastically by means of utilizing the available applications on our smartphones that focus on delivering information in an efficient and precise method. However, prior to committing to any one application, one should do ample research and read up on their functions and benefits, much like this in-depth review of Blinkist. Such applications decrease the time spent on reading via introducing audio features, eliminating distractions and displaying the contents in a more readable and comprehensive manner, which results in more knowledge being acquired at a point in time in comparison with the conventional reading practice.