post written by: Marc Chernoff

A Misconception of Productivity

Sometimes I seem to struggle with the concept of productivity.  What seems productive may not actually be productive, and the flip side holds truth as well.  I’m beginning to realize that someone’s level of productivity in the corporate job market directly correlates to the outside perception of their efforts.  Is it considered productive to spend eight diligent hours completing an assigned project for your boss?  What if you finished the same project in five hours and spent the next three hours surfing the Internet?  Would you really have been any less productive by surfing the Internet if the final project under both circumstances reflected the same quality of work?  It’s a strange feeling when you recognize that it might be in your best interests to slow down the pace of your efforts.  If you look busy, you are busy, right?  It seems as though this misconception is what they want you to believe…

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  • Well, if you can finish the job in 5 hours, that’s good. But your boss may start thinking “Did the task really warrant 8 hrs”?

  • If the task doesn’t need 8 hours, don’t waste your time on something if you can be doing something else–like enjoying yourself!

  • So true! I often wonder the same thing! It does generally come down to the quality of the work done in the 5hrs. However there is also Parkinson’s law which says, ‘Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.’ If given 5hrs you’d probably complete the job, same as if given the 8hrs…

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