Equation Of A Line That Passes Through Two Points Formula What Is Productivity?

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What Is Productivity?

In this post we are going to take a deeper look at the concept of productivity.

Here is my personal definition of productivity:

Productivity = Price / Time

(Productivity equals price divided by time)

According to this definition, there are two primary ways to increase productivity:

1) Increase the value created

2) Reduce the time required to create that value

You can complicate this definition by including other factors like energy and resources, but I prefer the simplicity of time because in most cases factors like energy and resources are reducible to time. Time makes it much easier to compare different levels of productivity, such as output per hour or per day.

Obviously you can make some significant gains on the time side. There are many personal productivity optimizations that, especially if you introduce them in your youth, will produce huge net savings of time over the course of your life. For example, consider your typing speed. If you spend the time to get your speed up to 90 words per minute or faster, it will be worth the initial investment of time to get you to type more over the course of your lifetime, compared to allowing your speed to slow to 50 wpm. or later in the year. The extra hours of practice will be nothing compared to the time you’ll save typing emails, letters or blog entries over the next few decades. Other time-based optimizations include improving your sleeping habits, reducing commute time, or quitting time-wasting habits like smoking.

The main limitation of time-based optimization is that the optimization process requires time input. Saving time takes time. So the more time you invest in optimizing the use of time, the greater your initial time investment, and the greater your need for long-term payoffs to justify that investment. This limit creates an upper bound for any time-based optimizations you try, according to the law of diminishing returns. The more time you invest in any optimization effort, the lower your net return, all else being equal.

This law of diminishing returns brings us back to the value side. While we may be stuck with diminishing returns trying to optimize the time side alone, we can see the task of optimizing the price side as less constrained and more open-ended.

What is “price” in our productivity equation?

Value is a quality that you must define for yourself. Therefore, any definition of production is relative to the definition of value. In circles where people can agree on a common definition of value, they can also agree on a common definition of productivity. However, in terms of your own personal productivity, you are not obligated to define value as someone else would. You are free to adopt your own definition, such that your quest for greater productivity becomes a personal quest that produces the most value for you.

Often we adopt a socially conditioned definition of value, which tends to be too limiting. Perhaps we define value within our careers based on work output, number of tasks completed, number and quality of important projects, etc. You may not be able to verbalize it clearly, but you have a working definition of value that you feel comfortable with. to you You can tell your own sense of what value means, not based on when you had a productive day and how much value you created.

But how much conscious thought have you put into your personal definition of value? I will challenge you to put a little more thought into your definition, which in turn will redefine your sense of productivity.


First, according to your definition of value, to what extent is value provided? Who gets the price? Yourself, your boss, your co-workers, your friends, your family, your company, your customers, your team, certain investors, your community, your country, the world, your family, God, all sentient beings, etc.? What degree of value does each person or group ultimately receive? Are you providing value to one person, 10 people, 100 people, 1000 people, millions of people, the entire planet? How much more value do you feel when you provide external waves than you provide directly? How quickly do those waves dissipate? What is your sense of the impact of your base level of value? Is it limited or extensive?

For example, if you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation or the leader of a country, if you work as a janitor you will have the ability to provide value to a large number of people. The more people you can influence, the greater your potential value. Greater leverage means greater potential impact.


Second, how long will the value you create last? An hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade, a lifetime, 100 years, 1000 years, 10,000 years, until the end of time? To what extent does your value advance over time? Is it quickly consumed and forgotten? Or does it continue to regenerate itself year after year? Does your price create ripples through time?

The Mona Lisa continues to provide value hundreds of years after its creation. But other works of art provide no lasting value beyond the lifetime of the artist. They are quickly abandoned and eventually replaced.


Third, what is the essence of the value you produce? Do you help people survive? Entertaining them? Enlighten them? How much do others value what you produce? What price would they be willing to pay for it? Do they see your value as essential, optional or undesirable? How unique is your value? Are you the only one who can provide it, or are there many similar options?

The essence of the value provided by a janitor is low because it is easy to find people to do such work for a small salary. The essence of value to the physicist is potentially greater because new theoretical concepts can lead to a more accurate understanding of the universe.


Finally, what is the amount of value you create? How much of it are you putting out in a given period of time? What is the quantity you produce at that price?

For example, Picasso was a famous artist who created hundreds of different works during his lifetime. Other artists had much less production.

So now we have this little formula:

Value = Effect x Endurance x Essence x Quantity

And so:

Productivity = Impact x Endurance x Essence x Volume / Time

Now the interesting thing here is that most of the productivity literature I’ve read focuses only on quantity and time. But those are the most limiting parts of this equation. However, they are also easy to write.

I think the most important long-term factors to consider when optimizing productivity (whether of an individual, corporation, country, or other entity) are impact, endurance, and substance. And the most important of these three is essence.

For example, let’s consider the productivity of a blogger.

The impact of a blogger’s value will be related to the blog’s traffic level and overall influence among its readers. How many people are reading the blog, and how much do they value what the blogger writes? To improve impact a blogger can improve his/her writing skills to increase traffic to the blog or to make a deeper impact on readers. The impact can also be increased if readers go out and share what they read. Furthermore, the blogger may use the blog as a means of self-exploration, thereby increasing the impact of the blog on the blogger’s own life.

A blogger’s tolerance of value will have a long-term effect on the blog’s readership, if any. Is the blog changing the long-term thinking and behavior patterns of its readers? Do readers quickly forget what they read on a blog, or does the information stay with them? Are readers forever haunted by what they read?

The essence of a blogger’s worth depends on the topics the blogger writes about. Is the blogger writing throw-away posts to get laughs or generate traffic, or is there a serious commitment to providing deep value? What is the nature of Blogger’s value distribution? Can this financial advice help a person become rich? Does it provide solutions to important problems? Or is it mostly fluff?

And of course the amount of value of a blogger will be the amount of words and posts delivered by the blogger.

Now extend this line of thinking to your life as a whole, beyond the confines of your career.

What is the final impression of your life? How many lives do you touch? Are you an influential person? Or do you exist in relative obscurity?

What will be your life’s price tolerance? Will your lifetime contributions be largely insignificant? Or will your contributions last for centuries? What is your price for avoiding your own death? After you die (assuming there is some sort of afterlife) what will your ability to retain value be?

And finally, what will be the essence of the value of your life? What is the heart of your contribution? Are you here to play follower follower? Are you looking for a worthwhile destination? When you consciously consider the value you’re providing, do you feel empty and fearful or calm and fulfilled? What is the meaning behind your actions? Was that meaning consciously chosen?

You cannot optimize your productivity without consciously and deliberately optimizing these factors. True productivity is much more than volume / time. If you ignore the importance of impact, endurance and essence, you doom yourself trying to spin your wheels faster and faster and miss the whole point of life. And the worst part is that as you live, you’ll find out it’s true. You will feel hollowness and emptiness in everything you do. When you consider your output in light of the infinity of time and space, it becomes nothing.

Essence is the single most important factor. Until you discover the true essence of your life, you cannot be truly productive. Anything you can do will have zero impact, endurance and volume. If the function is trivial those factors may be very small, but they will be greater than zero. However, if the essence of a task is zero, your total productivity is zero. If you miss the point of your life, your ultimate productivity is zero, no matter how hard you work and you don’t try to optimize all the other factors. If you gain the whole world and lose your soul, your ultimate reward is zero.

That essence is your purpose.

That’s why it’s important to find your life’s purpose. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. In fact, the only truly productive thing you can do before you know your purpose is to work to discover what that purpose is. Finding the essence is essential if you want to achieve zero productivity.

Once you discover your essence, you will find that all those other factors begin to adapt themselves more easily. Embracing essence creates passion, and passion increases impact, endurance and volume. Even with passion, time seems to pass slowly. Passion provides energy and draws resources to manage time more efficiently. Passion allows you to see the present moment as inherently complete and perfect, rather than perceiving life as incomplete and incomplete. Finding the essence automatically optimizes overall productivity.

Find a person who knows and embraces their purpose in life, and you will find a truly productive person. But in the absence of purpose, you will find busyness, but never productivity – the amount of output created might as well have been thrown into the trash heap. It will not have the strength to endure.

Purpose lies in the permanent, the timeless, the limitless. This is the essence of the real thing. Purpose is conscious and alive. Outside of purpose you can only work with temporary, finite, limited – phantom projections of reality but not reality itself.

Be productive. Spend your time discovering your essence, and then dedicate the rest of your life to working from your essence. Then you will live and work with a sense of infinite productivity because essence itself is infinite.

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