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Efficiency Vs Productivity: Which One Wins and Why?

Efficiency and productivity - probably these two words are the most favorites of the management of any organization regardless of the industry vertical. So, which one is more important? Or they are just different sides of a coin?

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Efficiency and productivity

You will see most companies or organization leaders are so concerned with productivity and efficiency. No matter in which industry they belong, these two are probably the most basic requirements to achieve success in today’s vying business market. 

Now, exactly what are these things? Are these the same or different from each other? Or these are just two sides of a coin? Which one is more important? We are going to discuss everything here in this article post.

Efficiency and Productivity – What Their Definitions Say?

Talking about efficiency and productivity is a lot like a discussion between quality and quantity. 

Efficiency

If you go by the dictionary definition, being efficient means having the capability to produce desired results with no or little waste. Here waste denotes both materials and time.

You are being more efficient if you can achieve the same result using less time and resources. No matter what type of products or services an organization provides, leaders should always encourage efficiency. However, they also have to be productive.

Productivity

As per the dictionary definition, being productive means having the power or quality to produce especially in abundance. Making the most out of what is available is about measuring productivity. 

Suppose you read three books in September and four in October. So, you were more productive in October. 

At first glance, you may find these two concepts pretty similar to each other. However, on a deeper look, while analyzing these two and comparing them with each other, you will find the nuanced difference between being effective and productive. 

Efficiency and Productivity – Two Sides of a Coin?

While productivity focuses on the output, efficiency emphasizes the quality of the work done. Usually, it focuses on using fewer resources and saves time.

If you consider productivity as the revenue generated from the sale, efficiency will be the money you take home after paying all your expenses.

Neither efficiency nor productivity should be the only factor to measure while making any all-encompassing decisions in an organization. In reality, both factors are crucial for gaining success. You have to monitor how many resources and how much time you are investing to achieve your target. 

While increasing your productivity simply means finding ways to do more, improving efficiency is inclined to finding ways to do more by reducing the effort required to complete tasks. 

Yes, both productivity and efficiency help to increase your outcome, but while one often leads to working harder, the other focuses on working smarter. 

Efficiency Matters More Than Productivity – How True is That?

Suppose you are producing maintaining a high output rate. But your work is full of too many errors and you require additional time to make it right. So, even if the productivity is higher here, it is of no use as you were not efficient enough to meet your target. 

This is why, in most cases, efficiency matters more than productivity

Well, of course, efficiency is not only about how you do a task. Also, how you generally work and how it impacts the overall efficiency are some matters to consider here. 

  • If you take better and more breaks, you will feel more refreshed. And thus, you can remain focused throughout the day and be more effective.
  • If you get into the flow, you can be more effective. So, finding a way to get into that flow is crucial here.
  • If the way you work complements your internal clock, you will be more efficient. 

Also, when you can see or feel that pushing yourself is not working anymore, you can procrastinate the work for a bit. Sometimes, it becomes a great help to increase efficiency. 

Maximize Your Efficiency and Productivity – How?

To achieve your target, you have to work on both your efficiency and productivity. Here are some smart strategies to enhance both of these factors.

1. Being Intentional With Both Resources And Time

Well, start with maintaining the production level currently you have with a lower number of resources. In this strategy, you have to be intentional with your objectives or target. Here is an example for your better understanding.

Suppose you are running multiple ad campaigns and getting desired results for your business. To implement the strategy mentioned above, conduct a review of all the campaigns you are running and rank campaigns based on the ROI.

Now, reallocate the money you spent on the bottom 10% of ad campaigns and move all of it to the top 10% of ad campaigns. Thus, your productivity won’t get affected but the efficiency will increase.

2. Prioritize Your Goals

Usually, perfectionists suffer from the fear of failure. And it keeps them from producing anywhere near the optimum levels. To avert falling in this trap, you have to compromise a bit. Now, it is your decision whether you want to sacrifice the less important goals to achieve the ultimate target or not.

So, prioritize your goals and act accordingly.

3. Reducing Waste

Waste reducing is another significant way to ensure enhanced efficiency as well as productivity. Try to find comparatively less expensive alternatives that can do the same tasks you are currently doing or producing. 

Maybe it is time to review your annual expenses and look for places where you can improve a bit. Also, check whether your prices are in line with the market or not. 

So, these are some effective ways to ensure overall better efficiency and productivity in your business or organization. Which one do you think suits you the best?

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