Productivity- Invest Your Time Wisely

Time is your most valuable current asset because your productivity is a direct measure of how wisely you invest your time. Productivity is influenced by government regulations, competition, current economic conditions, and other factors over which you have little direct control. But time is the one resource over which you can exert the most control to increase your personal productivity.

Good time organization cannot give you more time, but it can help you use time much more productively than you have in the past. Making improvements in any sphere of your professional life requires change. There is a time proven saying, “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.” Before you can take action to become more productive, you must define precisely what “productivity” means in your particular position or organization. In a general sense, productivity means doing the right thing, in the right way, and for the right length of time. As you work with your team members, or possibly your accountant, to determine a useful definition, you will find that your use of time is a major determinant of your productivity.

Many people who would be horrified at the idea of wasting either personal or company assets in the form of supplies, raw materials, transportation, or inefficient production methods think nothing of using a significant amount of their valuable time to accomplish tasks worth only a fraction of that amount. Productivity depends upon establishing specific understandings about the value of time.

  1. The time at your disposal is your entire time capital. You cannot borrow time; you cannot hoard it; you cannot even work hard and earn more time. All you can do is invest the time you have. What you get in return for time invested is the measure of your effectiveness in using your time capital. Your productivity is a direct measure of how wisely you invest your time.
  2. You cannot afford the luxury of wasted time. Time, productively used, is money. Identifying 30 to 40 minutes that you now waste every day and spending it productively will add the equivalent of approximately 22 eight-hour work days to your productive time every year. Using that small amount of time constructively each day amounts to almost an entire extra month of productivity. Think how much this would add to your productivity!

To reveal a clear picture of the worth of your time, determine the value of an average hour of your working time. Every hour you spend on a task is a direct investment of that amount of money. How many of the tasks you accomplish each day are actually worth this rate of pay?

When you have determined the value of an hour of your time, you can make some judgments about how to use each one for maximum productivity and profit. First, examine all the activities that make up your day. Decide which of these is worth less than the time you must invest to accomplish it. Then decide whether that particular activity should be eliminated, simplified, or delegated to someone whose time costs less than yours. Reserve your valuable time for activities meriting that rate of investment.

When you understand the worth of your time, you are better able to concentrate your efforts on items that offer the highest payoff. As a result, you accomplish more of the important objectives that bring high profit. You avoid wasting time and increase your personal productivity immensely when you understand the real value of your time.

Understanding the worth of your time and setting specific goals for its wise use pay dividends in two ways:

  1. More productivity, or achievement, in the same number of hours. By concentrating on items actually worth your attention, your personal productivity increases with no increase in the number of hours invested.
  2. The same productivity, or achievement, in fewer hours. Understanding the worth of your time reveals appropriate items to eliminate, to simplify, or to delegate. You can maintain the present level of productivity in fewer hours. The hours freed from detail are then available for a personally enriched life in whatever area has meaning for you.

Improving personal productivity offers immense benefits. You accomplish more in less time. You achieve more results than you ever dreamed possible. Improving your productivity creates opportunities for you to stretch your abilities and use more of your potential.

Increasing personal productivity means more control over your life and all that matters to you. It means a higher standard of living, shorter work hours, and increased time for the pursuit of other worthwhile goals that are important to you.

Leadership Management Institute
Reprinted with permission

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