When you ask people what is productivity? They tell you productivity is efficiency, result, or output. But I discovered that there is an aspect of productivity that people don’t understand. It is called product-activity; which means every activity that result into a product is productivity, while any activity that does not result into a product is a game of futility.
My work experience in corporate organisations, especially the public sector revealed to me that employees only work when they see their bosses around or when money is coming in. Some even wait for orders before they can perform basic functions.
Many people are full of activities that are not really productive. Many seat in offices claiming to be busy but they are using work hour to facebook and chat with friends. Some are so busy with the computer but achieve nothing at the end of the day. So activity alone does not result into productivity. It is activity with an end product that results into productivity.
To unleash your human performance ability in order to be productive, you must understand the acronym P.R.O.D.U.C.T.I.V.I.T.Y.
Find your PLACE –This is about discovering yourself and where your passion lies. You cannot be productive outside what you love doing.
REMAIN in your place –If you don’t remain in your place of passion you cannot be productive. You cannot expect a tree to be productive if you keep uprooting and planting the same tree in different locations.
Be OPTICAL –You cannot be productive beyond what you see yourself achieving. If you cannot see a better future, you cannot produce a better product.
Just DO it –Many people like to procrastinate but it is only the doers that are productive. If you are not doing any meaningful thing, you cannot be productive.
Find an UMBRELLA –Get a mentor who can guard you when you face challenges. The way an umbrella protects you from the rains is the way a mentor would provide you guardians.
Be COMMITTED –You cannot be productive until you are committed to your work. The act of commitment makes you an expert.
TIME management –Time is what the poor and the rich have equally. But the management of the 24hours they both possess is what distinguished the two in terms of productivity. Time is money if wisely invested.
Get INSIGHT –Sometimes we think productivity is just about working hard and sweating. At every point in time, we must know when we need inspiration or innovation. It is insight that gives you an edge to be productive.
Be VERSATILE –You must have the basic idea about everything. You must be resourceful. If you know only one thing, you’ll be out of market. Accustom yourself with the environment. If you don’t load your head, you don’t go ahead. Just because you want to learn about financial management does not mean you should not have an idea about people management or marketing. Be flexible.
INVEST in yourself –To be productive you have to invest in yourself. Invest in expanding your thinking ability than just investing in food and cloth.
TAKE over –This is having a global mindset in establishing any product or service. Develop products that would meet international standards.
YEARN for more –Don’t ever get to the point where you stop improving on your service or product. In the psychology of the mind, when you yearn for more, your entire faculty begins to function optimally.
Characteristics of a productive nation
Nigeria as a country must also learn to be productive. Below are major characteristics of a productive nation:
Vision: For a nation to be productive, it must have a national vision; the future where it is heading to. And this vision must be communicated and understood by all citizens.
Product: You cannot grow more than what you produce. Therefore a nation must have a national product to grow. Nigerians are too busy consuming products from other nations. It is high time Africans in general moved from being consumers to producers.
Human capital: A nation cannot grow more than its human capital productivity. The human capital needs to be built and motivated to perform. Training and retraining of skill would be needed to build up such a workforce.
Education: Education is key to a nation’s productivity. A nation cannot grow more than the level of knowledge its citizens possess. Education is the light of any nation. When the light is off, the nation is in danger.
Power: When there is no stable electrical power in a country nothing moves; the economy is frustrated and would eventually crumble. So many ideas are dying on the route of reality because there is no power to make them work. Many businesses have left Nigeria to neighbouring country, Ghana, to rescue the lives of their businesses because of epileptic power supply.
SMEs: To keep a nation's economy alive, financial and structural support must be made available to encourage Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs). A nation that wants to be productive should develop its SMEs because they are the movers of any economy.
Leadership Acumen: For any nation to move to a level of productivity, it needs leaders who have the capacity to manage the human and natural resources available in that country for the betterment of its citizens. Nigerian politicians must therefore have leadership acumen to be able to deliver the future.
Remi Dairo is the author of PRODUCTactIVITY, and the President, School of Productivity.