Productivity VS Efficiency: What Should Be Your Best Approach?

Fatima Shaikh
November 13, 2022

 “I want to be more efficient and productive at work.”

 “I wish I could be more productive in my lectures.”


Whether it’s an academic, workplace, or a simple mundane task, everyone wants to be more productive and efficient. Both these terms are crucial to a person’s success. Not only are these two terms related to success, but both are often used interchangeably. You may want to take a pause and think about it. Do you want to be productive or efficient?

Can you be efficiently productive? Why can’t you be both? Or is that even possible? First off, It’s important to note that the two refer to different approaches. When it comes to your work quality depending on the resources available, you mention your efficiency. On the other hand, your productivity refers to the amount of work you complete. If you want to achieve more, learn more, and contribute more, it’s important to learn which is which and where they each apply.

What Is Productivity?

Productivity is a metric of how much work you can complete in a given time frame. When you can concentrate on your work and produce more in less time, you increase your productivity. People who are in a productive state often have higher levels of motivation, creativity, and innovation, and they deliver better results than others. We often believe that being productive means doing more each day.

But that’s an incorrect perception. By being productive, you’re able to prioritize better and put your efforts into tasks that matter. Simply put, being productive is vital because you can accomplish more important things. Whether it’s a last-minute assignment or a team project at work, a productive person may accomplish more in less time. This enables you to tackle more challenging duties. As a result, you will have more time to engage in activities you enjoy, such as hobbies or socializing with others.

What Is Efficiency?

Efficiency refers to carrying out tasks the right way with the resources you have available. With efficiency, you measure the quality of work while productivity relates to its quantity. Even if productivity can speed up the process of completing tasks, it cannot ensure that they were done correctly.

Efficient people build standardized routines into their schedules to keep a disciplined approach to their duties. If you have more control over your schedule, making room for the unexpected is easier. Efficiency fanatics also prioritize rest and relaxation because they know that mental relaxation is important to perform their best.

Factors That Impact Your Productivity Or Efficiency

While they both may differ from one another, your productivity and efficiency are impacted by similar factors. Your productivity and efficiency rates may decline due to a variety of factors such as:


●     Lack of motivation

●     Stress

●     Disorganization

●     Lack of boundaries

●     Improper prioritization

●     Boredom

●     Health issues

●     Interrupting texts or phone calls

●     Unexpected visitors

●     External distractions


How Can You Improve Your Productivity and Efficiency?

Here are some methods you can follow to improve your productivity and efficiency in life:

Bring Down Your Multitasking Habits

According to research, juggling numerous things at once makes tasks take longer to complete and reduces both your productivity and efficiency. As you keep taking on more, you end up doing less. This is why it’s important to prioritize your workload and finish important tasks first, instead of juggling multiple things at once. You will effectively use your time and resources this way, and won't face any efficiency or productivity drops.

Declutter And Organize

You may be experiencing low productivity or efficiency if your approach to work is too cluttered and disorganized. Switch to new organizational techniques and incorporate them into your daily routine. It can be as simple as cleaning up your workspace, putting away completed or unimportant papers, and making to-do lists to assist you in more effectively keeping track of your chores.

You can also try the time-blocking technique. Divide your workday into chunks of time and assign each time block to a particular assignment and establish a deadline for it. For instance, study time from 9 to 11 in the morning, editing time from 11 to 1 in the afternoon, relaxing time from 1 to 2 in the afternoon, etc. To use your time more effectively, stick to your time blocks and only work on tasks assigned to them.

Keep Track Of Your Productivity

You can track your time to use it more effectively and produce consistent results. You can increase productivity by keeping track of your time and learning where you spend it. Try the Pomodoro approach, which involves working in intervals of 25 minutes, followed by 5-minute breaks, if you like to take some time to relax. Many students, athletes, and working professionals use this approach to increase their productivity since it helps them concentrate on the task at hand. So, keeping a time log can increase productivity and sharpen your efficiency.

Get Rid Of Any Distractions

Do you find it hard to stop your hand from constantly picking up your phone and going on Twitter or Instagram? You’re not alone. According to a study, social media is one of the key causes of low efficiency and productivity rates. To avoid this, you can install apps that block pointless applications and websites during working hours to eliminate any distractions. Disable your phone notifications and don't be scared to refuse any requests from your friends or coworkers about going outside when you should be working. Your productivity will increase and you'll use your resources more effectively if you can maintain your focus.

How to Find a Balance Between The Two

Many people concentrate on boosting their productivity to do more, but if their efficiency is sacrificed, they are not really making any progress. In fact, if you give yourself extra work, you can even make things worse. Finding a healthy balance between the two is essential for maintaining both productivity and efficiency.

You want to be productive enough to accomplish your objectives, but not so busy that you end up wasting time or effort on unimportant activities. Efficiency and productivity go hand in hand, so if one increases while the other decreases, there’s something going on. As important as productivity is, maintaining your efficiency is just as crucial if you want to ensure success at whatever your attempt.

A Fine Line Of Balance

Balancing efficiency and productivity is a fine line to walk, but it is essential for producing consistent and quality results. Your success depends on how you consider both variables and approach your work with them. Keep in mind that challenges do arise from time to time for everyone. So to overcome any obstacles as effectively as possible, try using the methods mentioned, and try to give your body and mind some time to relax before approaching another task or project.

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