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Formally, productivity is the ratio of outputs to inputs.

One company is more productive than another if it can output more with the same inputs (inputs can be both capital and labor) as a competitor, or if it can output the same with less input.

Labor productivity is the ratio of output to labor hours

Recently, Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project and the author of Be Excellent at Anything said:

The counterintuitive secret to sustainable great performance is to live like a sprinter. In practice, that means working at your highest intensity in the mornings, for no more than 90 minutes at a time before taking a true break. And getting those who work for you to do the same.

The idea he offers is that you can be more productive by working less (putting in fewer inputs for the same outputs), if those inputs are of the highest quality. See too this brief history of time management.


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About Terri Griffith