Getting personal with productivity
The New Zealand Productivity Commission’s recent report (September 2013) highlights a growing productivity gap between New Zealand and other countries in the Organisation for Co-operation and Development (OECD). Evidently, us Kiwis work 15% more hours per year than the OECD average, but despite these longer hours we produce 20% less economic activity per hour – an embarrassing double whammy!
While I sometimes wonder about the basis for OECD assessments and comparisons, there is always scope for improved productivity, both at the macro and micro or personal levels. Admittedly, we need to get the macro stuff right first, otherwise our efforts at improving personal productivity might be akin to straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic, as the saying goes. Nevertheless, personal productivity is also important if we manage projects and here is a quiz I’ve prepared that has a two-fold purpose:
- To enable us to assess the extent to which we as individuals employ proven productive practices.
- To alert us to practices designed to improve our personal workplace productivity.
If you want to indulge, please check the extent to which you employ the following productivity practices by circling the appropriate figures, and then you might discuss your results with others in your work team – areas of agreement and disagreement, and what actions are needed individually and collectively to achieve productivity gains. In fact, you might ask them to use this questionnaire to assess you, recognising that a team is a group of people who co-operate to achieve common goals.
What does this grand total mean?
While this completed quiz will allow for useful comparisons, I haven’t attempted to categorise scores and describe their significance, other than suggest that the higher you score the better and that you might now check your lowest scoring items for potential improvement initiatives. But to be effective, any such improvement goals are best written down and displayed as reminders, prioritised and expressed in measurable terms – preferably figures rather than adjectives and adverbs. Phew – seems a lot of work, but to do so could lead to saved time and your much improved productivity, performance and profitability.
Remember – nothing changes, if nothing changes!