What is productivity
Productivity is the objective material power of mankind to conquer and transform nature. Marxist theory of the scientific community on the category of productivity. Productivity is the relationship between people and nature in the process of material production.
Productivity is a complex system composed of many factors. People’s production activities refer to the process by which workers use raw materials and tools to create products. Labor is in the process of production. In other words, labor is an essential element of production.
In many Marxist textbooks, productivity is defined in such a way that people with the ability to work, with production tools and labor. The ability to conquer and transform nature in combination is called productivity. The same is true for other animals. Visible, we can at least see: On the one hand productivity is refers to the ability, this is probably uncontroversial; on the other hand, the definition of productivity emphasizes the process of production activities, which is also easy to see.
But people are tempted to: What is the purpose of production, or the result of production?
The purpose of production is to create material materials, while human beings create wealth. We can also understand that: the purpose of conquest and transformation of nature is to obtain material information and wealth, that is, can not be used through conquest and transformation could be used, useless through conquest and transformation can be made out, manufactured products for our service.
For example: Trees in the mountains are a certain distance from our place of residence, that is to say, no use. If we bring the trees back to transport, we can say that the wood is made to create wealth, and if we make the wood into furniture, then we can say that the furniture created wealth.
It can be seen that the purpose of conquering and transforming nature is to gain wealth, and the process of conquering and transforming nature is the process of creating wealth. In short, the purpose of production is to create wealth.
How to improve productivity
1. Set deadline
If you don’t have a deadline, you will just end up be doing your work forever, or at worst the work never finish. What you need to do is first calculate how much you need to spend for a particular task, then assign a time to do it without any distraction like mobile phones, friends etc. Stress is sometimes a good things. It allows you to be self discipline and stay focus. Try your best to complete the task within deadline. At the last section of this article, I will suggest some useful tools to improve productivity.
2. Forget about multitask
When I was young, I tended to do many things at the same time. I thought I am able to do efficiently and time saved a lot. In reality, a bit NO for that. In hindsight, I made 2 mistakes. 1. Yes, I have done all the tasks. However, none of the tasks have been done completely. 2. Time was not really saved.
A research shows that the productivity is actually reduced because of multitasking. Therefore, make sure you have completed a task before moving on to next one.
3. Take a break
Have you ever feel like your brain is stuck and you can’t think of anything? You want to get a thing done but you just can’t think of a way to do it. It usually happens when you have been working for a long day or you are feeling very tired.
You need to know you keep working doesn’t mean you are working efficiently. When you feel like the above situation, you should take a break, do some sport, at least walk for a while so that you retain enough energy, have a clear mind to work on.
It sounds counterintuitive, but taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve concentration. Some research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance; while working at a task without breaks leads to a steady decline in performance.
4. Remove distractions
Everyone has 24 hours a day. Assuming we have 8-10 productive hours except time that is spent on breaks, meals and sleep. Distractions have 2 impacts: First, it reduces you productive hours. It’s just a simple calculation. If you spend 2 hours on social websites, small stuff, email etc, then your productivity becomes 8 minus 2 equals 6 hours. Secondly, the worst situation is that you spend time of those while you are working on a project meaning not only your productive hours reduce, you are actually not productive – not completing the project before deadline.
How to calculate/measure productivity
Productivity is a specific representation of the pursuit of excellence in life, and also a precursor of competitiveness. In economic society, it can be applied to small as micro like individual and firm productivity to big as Macro like industry and country productivity, Productivity is always an important task that everyone has to face every day. It is impossible for anybody, organization even country to get rid of the observation and measure of the productivity.
Productivity refers to the value or ratio of output and input to measure the efficiency of an enterprise’s use of assets. The method of calculation is: output/input. The output is usually the quantity of production or service, and the input can be capital, fixed assets, working hours or the number of workers. Generally speaking, the higher the productivity, the more efficient the use of assets
After you know what your productivity is. The question is: is it good enough? The easier way to determine productivity is through some comparison methods. I use some examples of organization below but they are related to individual measure as well.
Performance can be compared over two periods in the time series, usually for two consecutive periods, meaning two or more times. For examples, comparing the performance of this month’s performance with the performance of last year, or comparing the performance comparison in the same period. You will see the change or trend of performance. The results of performance measurement are statistically manipulated to gain further meaning and insight and to help the management effectively. In short, the time series can point out if the organization is performing better or worse.
Cross-sectoral evaluations include a band-measurement technique that encourages a single entity (organization or department) to compare with other entities of the same property. Those two entities usually have the same attribute but this is always the case. Sometimes it can be evaluated by a different industry benchmark.
The organization can also compare the industry average as the benchmark which usually express as the ratio of the benchmark. And then use this ratio to compare with the ratio of other organizations for cross-sectoral comparisons.
Regardless of the individual, industry or country, productivity is the first indicator of competitiveness. Higher productivity means more competitive. Since long than a decade, the global industry and economy, through the financial turmoil, the European debt crisis, etc, many people began to rethink the driving force of productivity. In short, the pursuit of the attitude and behavior of continuous improvement is the essence of productivity.
Free productivity tools:
One of the problems people always facing is that there are too many notes or ideas to be written down. Imagine that your supervisors deliver tasks to you on an irregular basis. It’s hard to simply write down in memo notes as it’s hard to organzied when you have too many notes scatter in different places. Evernote is the best answer to this question. Like Jandi, Evernote is a cloud tool that provides notes, additional and shared files, easy management tasks, and to-do lists. Evernote uses the freemium business model and supports a variety of different operating systems. Evernote helps organize a variety of data and fragment ideas, which can be easily categorized by the label features. It also supports different operating systems which you can write down the sudden creativity anytime and anywhere.
Well, that was a productive day
Nowadays, there are too many interesting or informative information that are worth taking time to read. The trouble for readers is: How do you better collect the information you want to see? The Pocket provides after reading tool to store any articles seen on the network. As long as the browser installed plug-ins, the article is stored by just clicking 1 key in your keyword. Then you can read it in in mobile phones and tablets. It works great if you don’t have enough time to finish a reading, you can read it outside even if there is no internet.
Anyone who is interested in productivity tools must have heard of Trello’s name (more attracted by Atlassian mergers in the early 2017). Trello focuses on project management tools and applies to various industries and fields.
Trello Jandi Connect is also a series service that users often use. As long as there is any change in the project, it will be notified to Jandi. Trello provides convenient project and task management. Together with Jandi and Dropbox to promote interactive communication and cloud storage space.
Last but not least (my most favorite one) is Google Apps. It’s variety of products support any kind of people. Most of them are free service or reasonable fees, and do not need to download the program. You just use it using internet.
Google Doc, Excel, Powerpoint and Calendar etc store the files in the Cloud (Google Drive). You can access and edit your files anywhere.
Google Calendar: Whether you are using desktop or a mobile phone, it’s easy to check your calendars. You can also share your calendar with others and watch each other’s calendar. It makes meeting schedule easier.
The difference between productivity and labor
The fundamental difference between productivity and Labor is that the former is the function or ability of the organism of the society, and the latter is the ability or function of the human organism.
Productivity is an objective material force. It goes without saying that production data is a material element. Laborer’s labor ability is a kind of natural force – the arm and the leg, the head and the hand movement, is the physical strength and the intelligence summation.
Labor is the physical exertion and the intellectual expenditure at any time. With the development of production and the progress of science and technology, the intellectual content of laborers is changing from traditional experience mainly to science and technology knowledge, and the proportion of intelligence factor is increasing. But the worker’s intelligence and physical strength, only in the material production process can play a role. Therefore, the laborer’s labor force is still a material element in essence, and its realization and improvement are conditioned by the condition of production tools.
Therefore, working hard doesn’t mean you are productive. In fact, you will be exhaust if you work too hard. Remember to work smart but not only to work hard. It’s important that work needs to be done efficiently. The speed and progress need to be hurried but at the same time the attitude and mood can not be anxious. Life has a purpose and Job has a plan. In fact, you need to be happy even though you are struggle with difficult work.
Mentality not only affects work, but also determines the fate of life. Even if the current job is not ideal, if you maintain a positive attitude and stay calm, it will bring good work attitude. It will become productive and gradually guide us to success.