Victus Spiritus


Maximize the Value of Your Time

12 Jun 2009

MarketingYourTimeThe Measure of Your Productivity

We all have good days and bad days. There are times when we make breakthrough discoveries, yet at off moments we spin our wheels idly unable to make forward progress. The productivity of our time is measured by the value we, and perhaps more importantly others, derive from the product of our efforts. Our productivity curve is non-linear, in that sometimes we'll generate fantastic value with only a single quick decision, yet at other times we'll spend many hours working on a fruitless endeavor. The most successful among us have learned to pay attention to their efficiency. By observing the measurable value we generate, we are empowered to make decisions that best serve our productivity. Don't despair over "down time" or get too hung up on optimizing your time, each of us needs to refresh our creative and productive energies periodically. Concentrating on effective value from our time is an extension to an earlier topic I covered, how to best market your time.

Breakthrough Moments

At the most wonderfully productive times, you'll experience an accomplishment or make a decision that seems completely obvious and natural to you. But for others your creation is brilliant and solves a major problem they've been battling against for some time. Can this high value creativity be nurtured? Part of me distinguishes creativity as a lucky breakthrough for a hardworking individual, often surrounded in serendipitous finds. Beyond that, I am confident that work habits can aid in increasing the probability of breakthrough events. The work habits I've discussed previously:

Pay careful attention to the work you produce that others perceive as having great value. A completely isolated view could easily miss potential breakthrough opportunities. Having others review your work not only minimizes the chance of great work slipping away but can help identify potential time wasting traps. While Tim Fenriss referred to an 80/20 split for our productivity.  Pareto's principle states that 80% of the effect is generated by 20% of the causes.  My personal experience has been even more dramatic at 95/5. Somewhere in the range of 5-10% of the time I generate 90-95% of the value (where value is measured by readers that stay and read a post).
Creative social communities are now available to everyone with computer access. These incubators allow for the collaborative development of ideas of great value. The value generated is not always monetary, but may take the form of influence.