It is well known that in the fields of work and business the term “productivity” is one of the most important and widely used; after all, it is one of the main indicators that shows the good or bad performance of any system that generates goods or services: whether it is an organization or a particular worker with its materials. .
However, it is of little use to estimate our productivity if we do not know the main psychological phenomena involved that explain our success or failure in trying to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves in this regard.
Fortunately, there are already several principles that can help us when it comes to optimizing work processes; in this article we will see some of them, through a review of the most important productivity rules.
What is productivity?
In economics, productivity is the relationship between the total productive activity and the means or resources invested to carry out this activity in a given period, Taking into account the measurement of product quality.
These resources can be different in nature and can be measured in terms of different factors, such as time spent, in the case of personal productivity or, in the business environment, in terms of workers, natural resources, infrastructure or capital necessary to carry out a certain productive activity.
Productivity is therefore a necessary indicator to know whether the viability of the productive activity is more or less. The more resources used to produce X quantities of product in a period, the lower the productivity, and vice versa.
This general indicator is, in turn, used to estimate the exact productivity of each worker, each machine or each piece of cultivated land, essential information used by companies and workers to improve their work performance and detect errors. in some parts work sequence.
What are the main rules of productivity?
Experts from different disciplines have raised over the last century the existence of a number of principles or regularities which govern the productivity of any type of entity exercising a job.
These are the so-called productivity rules; Knowing them is very useful for valuing aspects such as efficiency at work and even for generating a good working climate through good time management.
These rules are usually expressed in a simple way, practically in the form of aphorisms, and can be taken as advice to be applied not only in formal work but in any human activity, in which we apply effort, resources or even investments.
However, beyond their appearance of belonging to the world of logic, they describe material realities. We will know the 3 most remarkable here: the Pareto principle, Parkinson’s law and the two-minute law.
1. Pareto principles
“20% of actions yield 80% of results.”
The Pareto principle was enunciated by the Italian economist and philosopher Vilfredo Pareto in 1907, and postulates that better results can be achieved by investing less time and resources. This means, among other things, that putting more money and resources into an activity does not have to translate into significant improvement and that it is often relatively easy to achieve much better results without spending more.
These tips can be very useful for workers who want to improve their productivity in a crisis environment where budgets must be reduced, and he stresses that better day-to-day planning and better detection of efficiency are essential. Although paradoxical, continuing to spend is the easy solution, because we have worked like this before and at the moment we are imbued with the inertia of habits.
2. Parkinson’s law
“The job expands to take up all the available time.”
This law was enunciated in 1957 by British historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson and states that each job is usually done according to the time available.
This means that if we have little time to complete a task, we will finish it in less time; and if on the contrary we have more time, we will finish this work later.
Our way of working adapts to our perception of the working day. Keeping this in mind can help us improve time management and better organize our schedule. For example, one of the implications of this law of productivity is that it is almost always better to have many simple short term goals than a general medium or long term goal, Since in the first case we will create a context that predisposes us to make good use of all the time available for the end goal.
3. Law of two minutes
“If it’s quick, do it now.”
Productivity consultant and expert David Allen is the creator of the Getting Things Done Productivity Method, where he raises this and other very useful precepts. Without a doubt, a very necessary precept especially for people who have to multitask in the course of their working day. It has a lot to do with self-motivation and work strategies designed to fight procrastination.: Timeouts have a lot of potential, they are not an excuse to do nothing.
Are you looking for professional psychological assistance?
If you are interested in psychological assistance applied to the world of work performance or stress management related to your projects, I encourage you to contact me. I am a psychologist specializing in the cognitive-behavioral model and I have spent many years working for individuals as well as professionals and companies as a consultant. I offer my services in person in Madrid, and also online.
- Allen, D. (2001). To do things. London: Penguin Books.
- Woodcock, K. (2010). Safety assessment techniques. Toronto: Ryerson University