Time-Based vs. Task-Based Models of Productivity

Posted by Mitzi Branvold | Thursday, August 27, 2020

Time-Based vs. Task-Based Models of Productivity

Posted by Mitzi Branvold | Thursday, August 27, 2020

The one thing that we are all very concerned with, when it comes to work, is productivity. We all want to do more in less time; we want to achieve more with less effort; we want to work what one author calls “the 4-hour workweek” and become millionaires. But when we are handed the opportunity to work less, we very rarely seem to take it because when it comes down to it, we feel guilty if we aren’t working eight or more hours everyday.

Do You Secretly Feel Good Because You Work So Hard?

This is a conundrum which is difficult to resolve and often, we’re unaware of the values which are motivating our actions. We may complain a great deal about how many hours we have to work, but we are secretly feeling good about the fact that we work so many hours because it shows us how virtuous we are. It’s a little bit like how a hypochondriac keeps complaining about their many illnesses but actually gains pleasure from the idea of suffering through those illnesses.

Do You Work Many Hours Without Accomplishing Much?

Workaholism is something that affects many of us without our realizing it, and the only way to get rid of it is to change our ideas about what it means to be productive. We need to start realizing that being productive is not about spending 10 hours everyday at work. What use would this be if half your time is actually spent in talking to the people around you or writing unnecessarily long emails, the gist of which could have been conveyed in a couple of sentences?

Have You Considered a Task-Based Model of Productivity?

Instead of counting the hours you spend working, you need to count the tasks you have accomplished in the day. Do you have a quota or a target set aside for every working day? And did you reach that target or even exceed it? Sometimes, it is possible to do this only in a few hours a day and this leaves the rest of your day free for other things.

What Would You Do if You Had More Time?

You could do so many other constructive things with the hours left to you, such as exercising, cooking, starting a creative project which is or isn’t related to work or even sleeping, given that many of us are sleep-deprived. You could actually spend time with people you want to spend time with rather than chattering with people at work. All you need to do is get out of the mindset of spending more hours working and start counting your success by the number of tasks you’ve accomplished instead.