Productivity Formula

Productivity Formula. Productivity = Purpose * Prioritized action

What do you think of when someone asks you what it means to be productive? Do you see someone who has every last second of their day accounted for? A calendar so booked up that they don’t have a spare second free in their day. Does busyness really mean productivity? I hope that after you read this your mind will be opened to what productivity can mean.

Productivity is not about being so full in your day to squeeze out every last drop of work. Productivity is determined by your goal. I have a productivity formula, and yes there are a few extra parts but at its core it is Productivity = Purpose X Prioritized Action.

Productivity – Getting the important things done on your “to do list”  in the most effective and efficient way

Purpose – Finding the important mission-driving things in your life which give you meaning. This is what puts items on your to-do list

Prioritized action – Ordering the actions that can be done from your purpose in the most effective and efficient way

If you have no purpose your prioritized action is very weak and is so unguided it will leave you going in many directions that don’t build on each other. This can leave you going in circles with no path or even restarting all over again. These are the people that work hard but end up going nowhere because they have no direction of where to go

If you have no prioritized action you never get started.

For example one of my goals is to connect with 1000 people this year on LinkedIn. The Purpose behind this goal is for me to connect and talk with leaders in the personal development and productivity space. My prioritized action related to this is 1. Connect with 100 Professionals a week, 2. Create a content bank so I can start posting 3 times a week, 3. Get active and start having conversations on posts.

The reason that I order these tasks in that way is because the conversations I have had with Linkedin Influencers have explained the best ways to connect with people on LinkedIn. Once you have your purpose you can find out what actions are the most important through conversations, reading, and classes

When you have both Purpose and Prioritized Action they multiply because each action you take on your purpose will be compounded. This is because you are getting the most important actions done related to your purpose that will create the best results possible. One of the most important things about doing this is that when you move in order of priority because you know what to say no to.

There are two sections of Productivity. One section is about people and relationships and the second is about completing tasks. With these, there are widely different outcomes you are trying to achieve. With tasks, the goal is to be efficient. Efficiency means that you are saving time and/or money. But a lot of people look at their relationships with others and how they can be more productive and take the same efficient approach. Humans are social beings and if you look at friends or co-workers like they are a task to be handled you are not going to do very well in the long run. Humans need to have good relationships so you can be more effective than efficient.

When taking these into account you can prioritize better

Important factors to Productivity


Some people add the ability into productivity because you need to at least have some baseline ability to get what you want out of an activity. For example, in the NBA you have to have some sort of athleticism and size. And as a stock investor, you need to have knowledge of how the stock market runs. But a lot of times people with a purpose already have the predetermined level of ability which is why I combine it with purpose.


You may not want to hear this but health is critically important to productivity. What you fuel your body with is so important because it affects your energy, mood, and overall attitude towards work each day. Also within health, there is sleep. Sleep is where your body restores what was broken down from the day before. This is not an article where I explain to you how to eat and sleep but I suggest following Shawn Stevenson’s Book and podcast (Sleep Smarter and Model Health Show)


Prioritized action is best implemented when you have systems in place to make sure your actions are in the best order to be done and create the most reliable result possible. The best people have systems and Models that they use. For example, Gary Keller of KW Real estate uses a 411 which helps you prioritize your week based on your month and yearly goals. There are many ways to prioritize your time. The action part of productivity is finding the system that creates a reliable result. If you want to find a system to create better health there are many good options for Holistic health, diets, exercise, and sleep. Once you know your priorities you can find the systems to create the results that you want.

Productivity is a very important subject in life and there is no productivity class that they teach you in high school or college. So most of it is through outside books and learning on your own. But now with the understanding of what productivity is take at least one thing from this and implement it. Whether that’s from the strategies of how to be more efficient. Or finding what your first action is. Implementation is what separates successful people from the rest.

Conor Butts is the podcast host of Personal Productivity, a podcast to help people live what’s most important. He started the podcast in June of 2020 and features expert guests helping to teach productivity to others. Conor is a senior at Olivet Nazarene University studying Business Administration and is captain of the golf team.

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