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How's Your Productivity During COVID-19

Melvyn Tan
Melvyn Tan
2 min read
How's Your Productivity During COVID-19

It is normal for our productivity to dip during the COVID-19?

Or should we look at how Shakespeare and Newton flourished during a pandemic with guilt?

Before we dive deep into this dichotomy, let’s first put things into perspective.

The question is, “what makes us productive”?

As a student of productivity, my hypothesis is that productivity is a function of:

  1. Resources
  2. Processes
  3. Environment

ResourcesTime is the most valuable resource because you cannot get it back. A close second is energy. You may have all the time in the world, but without energy, you can only do so much. A third crucial resource for me is money. Let’s face it, without it, you have limited options. And it’s always good to have options. Fourth would be tools. This includes both hardware (e.g. computer, camera, lenses) as well as software (e.g. the apps and SaaS that we glue together to help us carry out our business).

Knowing how to use our resources in an optimal manner will yield the best results. Which is why, even with the same hardware, two people can deliver very different results.

Processes. This, I feel, is something that many have overlooked. During my years advising schools on organizational excellence, the emphasis with looking for areas to improve is almost all consuming. That said, one must be clear about their process. As Edwards Deming said:

If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.

I keep my processes stupid simple. Many of my processes are so deeply ingrained that they have become a habit. Without a need for conscious thought, I would perform these tasks consistently to help me work towards my goal.

Environment. The environment plays a big part. We’ve always talked about a conducive environment. At the office, you may get interrupted more by a colleague than if you choose to work from home, alone. However, during this COVID-19 situation, where many of us are forced to work within a confined space. With the introduction of other individuals, things can get a little wild.

If your productivity has increased during this period, you should consider teaching others.

Melvyn Tan

Despite living the good life at midlife, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My aim here is to reinvent midlife, learn new skills, and understand how the world works post-COVID.