Three Measures Of Personal Productivity

Most of the talk about performance measures is how they are applied to monitor the performance of an organization, a business, staff, a project, or a process.

But have you ever used performance measures for your own personal performance? One area that really lends itself to being measured is personal productivity. This is about how well we use our time to achieve whatever goals we’ve set. Of course, it virtually goes without saying (but let’s say it anyway), if you have no goals then you have no way of assessing your productivity!

Personal productivity is something we all have to deal with, particularly when there are personal goals we’re striving for, and no end of obstacles and distractions getting in the way of our striving!

So here’s a handful of measures, over which you might like to ponder with the question “would it be useful for me to know this?”

Return on time invested (nickname is ROTI)

You have to define what the “return” is for you, and how you’ll quantify it. Then you just divide that quantity by the number of hours (or days or whatever) that you’ve invested in generating that return.

If you’re a consultant or solo business owner, for example, your return might be profit. So you could measure the profit your business earns for every hour you invest in your business.

It’s a measure that easily leads you to the question “which activities give me the highest return, and how can I do more of those activities?”

Percentage of time spent on priorities

Do you know what your priorities are? Can you recognise when you’re working on them, as opposed to things that aren’t a priority?

If you can, then by keeping simple records in your Outlook Calendar or diary, you can easily tally up the proportion of your time each week that you gave to your highest priority tasks.

It’s a great measure to really appreciate the extent to which we can let distractions and other people’s priorities invade our time.

Task cycle time

If there are tasks that you perform time and again, such as preparing for meetings or writing a specific type of report, or recruiting staff, then a little careful analysis might highlight where you can save time that’s currently being wasted.

It happens to the best of us – we get carried away with how things are done, and forget to check for better ways of doing them. Measuring the cycle time of your regular tasks can encourage you to ask this question (and hopefully find ways to improve your personal productivity).

These aren’t the only measures of personal productivity, of course. But if you’re currently measuring nothing about how well you use your time to achieve whatever goals you’ve set, could one or more of these be a good place to start?