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Knowledge work and productivity are incompatible.

https://medium.com/the-innovation/knowledge-work-and-productivity-are-incompatible-bb6309913b82

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Knowledge work and productivity are incompatible.
Maybe you’d mumble something along the lines of, “getting stuff done.” Maybe you’d dig a little deeper and say, “it’s about using your time wisely,” or claim that “to be productive is to complete…

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We Don’t Know What Productivity Really Is

We Don’t Know What Productivity Really Is

Most of us want to be productive but do not completely understand what we do, why we do it, and who judges it as productive or non-productive.

Productivity can be defined as the effectiveness of an effort, measured in terms of input and output. This definition is limited, as modern knowledge work does not fall in the category of industries (like a sugar factory) or agriculture, where productivity can be measured tangibly, and the output is already defined in a linear way.

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Productivity: Modern Knowledge Work

Knowledge work in the modern age involves thinking, analysis, theories, trial and error, problem solving, brainstorming and other stuff which is done in a variety of counter-intuitive ways. It is defined by a diverse range of iterative exploration of yet-to-discover possibilities.

Comparing the earlier (linear) definition of productivity to modern knowledge work is like comparing a bicycle to a computer.

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How The Idea Of 'Productivity' Holds Us Back

  1. The linear definition of productivity assumes that if we complete our to-do list, we are productive for the day, not taking into account the time required for creative insights that come from serendipity and lateral thinking.
  2. It falsely ties us to a quantitative output, which involves pseudo-work based on input and output of an age gone by. Example: Making and emailing a daily report that no one reads.
  3. As we answer emails and put out the fires, we miss opportunities for creativity and deep thinking, and even getting bored, which makes the brain work better.

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Focus Is The New Productivity

Focus is a state of attention which puts us in an intentional flow mode, making us live the knowledge we have inside, and create connections using deep thinking in a space and time devoid of distractions.

When one does not burn ‘cognitive calories’ and waste precious attention on tasks that have little or no value, and is not subscribing to an obsolete productivity model, then one can be ‘productive’ in the modern sense.

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Measuring Employee Productivity

Measuring Employee Productivity

Fixing employee productivity in the industrial age, when most workers were handling machinery and it’s parts, was a tedious but doable process. The managers had to fix the people who were making mi...

The Old Productivity Formula

The basic productivity formula(productivity= output divided by input) worked well in the industrial age as the output and input were clearly defined and measurable.

Today’s leaders need innovative solutions to measure and improve productivity in a knowledge-based workplace, as the measurement of output and input is not what it was.

Quality And Quantity

While assigning value to the output of knowledge workers, we cannot simply measure the output like before.

Coders and doctors cannot be measured by the hour, as their output is not uniform or consistent every hour.

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Multitasking

Those that do multitask the most are the worst at it.

Productivity is defined as, “having the power to produce.” By that definition, multitasking is the opposite of productivity becau...

Not Getting Enough Rest

  • When we get tired, we make mistakes, which means more time and money must be put into correcting those mistakes. 
  • When we get tired, it takes us longer to do things, costing more time and money to do something that could get done in less time if we were fully awake. 

Doing Everything Yourself

Either one of two problems: you don’t like delegating tasks, or you’re having trouble prioritizing which tasks deserve your time. 

Figure out which tasks deserve your time the most (or those tasks that you do best), and outsource something that’s of low priority. 

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Why humor is a key to success at work

  • People will enjoy working with you.
  • Humor is a potent stress buster.
  • It is humanizing.
  • It puts others at ease.
  • Ha + ha = aha!  Humor is a key ingredient in creative thinking.
  • It helps build trust.
  • It boosts morale.
  • People who use humor tend to be more approachable.
  • Humor can allow your company to stand out.
  • It can increase productivity.