Thinking back to Econ 100, the formula of total productivity is typically written as output divided by input, but the Ridiculously Efficient productivity formula is slightly different. Most importantly, my formula centers on qualitative measures rather than quantitative ones: it's easy to quantify work, but the best parts of life aren't as conducive to keeping score. Here are the components of my productivity formula:
1. Mission-Critical Tasks
When I'm focused and productive, my mission-critical tasks -- the few items I absolutely must get done during my workday -- are cranked out before lunch.
2. Nagging Tasks
I endeavor to knock one nagging task off my to-do list each day. These tasks don't have due dates and take longer than 2 minutes to do; accordingly, they're just annoying enough to sit idle and clog up a to-do list for months. These range from basic Wordpress theme tweaks to setting up custom goals in Google Analytics.
3. Work to Play
Ridiculously Efficient readers know my mantra is work hard, play harder; accordingly, my mornings are super-structured and action-packed so that I can "earn" a chunk of time off in the afternoon to exercise, tool around in San Diego, or fire up the grill and relax poolside.
4. Set Up for Success
Sometimes I work for a few hours in the evening. These work periods are solely dedicated to setting myself up for success the following morning, whether it's conducting research, laying out the skeleton for a blog post or scheduling mission-critical tasks. It's the work equivalent of cleaning your house before you leave for vacation: when you return, everything is neat and orderly, enabling you to ease into your day.
What's your productivity formula?