My Tale of Productivity

HOW I FOUND OUT “MY PRODUCTIVITY” ?

One morning, I woke up to my iphone notification. A screen popped open and I saw a report of my week long productivity. It displayed my screen time and categorized my usage neatly. On an average , each day, it declared, I was fruitful for barely a few minutes. And shamefully, that number was lower than the previous week.

I was surprised and anxious with this new discovery. I wondered what it meant and if I needed to improve my β€œproductivity”? I turned to google to solve my worry. The search returned a gazillion results and I was amazed that the topic garnered such popularity.

AND THEN I DISCOVERED THE CHASE OF PRODUCTIVITY

Over the next few days, I received Linkedin feeds with tips to increase daily productivity. Good reads recommended self help books and Youtube suggested “Efficiency tips for all activities”. I felt chased by this whole new industry that was thriving out there and feeding on my worry. The need to be productive was packaged and marketed with several success stories. It was hard to question this need when everyone offered a solution already.

SO, I SEARCHED THE ROOT OF PRODUCTIVITY

I looked up further and discovered the history. The origin of productivity went back to 18th century. When agriculture couldn’t produce enough surplus, we devised the term -“land productivity”. It measured the yield of crops per hectare land and served an indicator of agricutural output. The idea was simple and implied improving material efficiency.

Then came the industrial evolution and productivity became an indicator of profitability. It measured the units of output produced per input cost. Labour was a cost. And in our bid to increase productivity (& thereby profitability), we started focusing on labour efficiency.

AND HOW IT EVOLVED TO HUMAN PRODUCTIVITY

The need for labour efficiency gave birth to the concept of human productivity. We became result centric and measured all activities in terms of productivity.

Our desperation to be fruitful, narrowed our choices. We pursued all actions that guaranteed an outcome and spent little time in self discovery.

Productivity equals success equals self worth became the idea and we tuned our minds to this assembly line thinking.

AND THEN I STOPPED WORRYING ABOUT PRODUCTIVITY

I decided, I no longer needed to be reminded of my productivity. I couldn’t let an industry thrive on my vulnerability.

I snoozed my iphone reports so my mind wandered free. I felt unburdened and suddenly relieved.

That’s when I started writing my two cents on productivity.