Capacity Structure in the Workplace – Peace Ogbonna

One word that has often been misplaced in the professional world is PRODUCTIVITY and ACTIVITY. Therefore, many organizations are on the wheels of activity and at the end of the day there is little or nothing to show for the number of resources that has been spent.

For any organization to get to the place of expansion it has to move from a standpoint of activity to that of productivity to that of productivity. For the purpose of this study, workplace productivity will be delved into in details to demystify one of the capacity structures that has stood the test of time, PRODUCTIVITY!

Productivity at the workplace is defined as the maximum utilization of resources to achieve output either inform of a tangible product or as an intangible output.

In order to achieve this, there must be a conscious effort to create a balance between quality and quantity by ensuring that the quantity inputted is commensurable with the quality produced.
Therefore, for productivity to be actualized, it starts from restructuring of the mind of employees for them to understand that the end point of all the resources put in place must result to maximum productivity and not just activities that kill time with little or nothing to show forth.

Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck’s research explains that employees with a fixed mindset believes that their abilities are static while those with a Growth mindset sees challenges as opportunities to evolve and learn, with this in view, employers should observe to identify employees with a teachable mind as it will be easy to tune them to productive assets than employees with fixed mindset who are not ready to take responsibility for their actions and unlearn what does not work for the organization.

It is worthy to note that productivity at the workplace first starts with the state of the mind of the employees and this should also be considered when employing staff in an organization as the organization will definitely evolve and expand and any employee that has a static mindset will cause delay in the growth of such organization especially if they are in key positions of such organization.
Performance of task for a long time that hours feel like minutes for the sole purpose of productivity which is called “experiencing the flow” or “being in the zone” cannot be properly done with a static mindset.

Aristotle said that we are what we repeatedly do and this cannot be less true when it comes to workplace productivity as our personal lifestyle robs off on our work life.
Productivity often emerges from established habits to consistent routines.
For example,  If you are organized person at home and know how to keep your home in order by default your workplace will be organized, decluttered and this helps for clarity of thoughts that will generate productive outcome for the organization.
A company’s CEO once said tell me your routine and I will predict your business success.
The dynamics of productivity is deeply rooted in –
Environmental Considerations.
Therefore, productivity is more quantitative in nature unlike performance that is qualitative. Performance takes a wider view as it assesses the quality of the completed task, standards achieved, and the overall efficacy of a process or individual.
One must understand that increasing productivity doesn’t always lead to better performance and vice-versa.
It is worthy to note that productivity and activity are complementary. For a business to flourish, it should strive for a synergistic balance, refining processes to boost productivity while upholding activities within the organization, if not improving performance standards will be unattainable.

Clarity of purpose
Focus on results
Continuous improvement
Efficiency over effort

This is a productivity technique that focuses on breaking work into short concentrated intervals to lessen the workload and create a focused approach to tackling obstacles. This technique typically works thus; 25 minutes in length followed by a brief rest of about 5 minutes and after the fourth round, you can have a long rest of about 15-20 minutes to boost your mind and get it prepared for the next task.
You can use a digital timer to time yourself during the undistracted 25 minutes work or any other timing gadget that is convenient for you.
This technique was propounded by Francesco Cirillo in late 1980s.

Choose a task
Set a timer
Work on the task
Take a short break
Take a long break

Enhances focus
Increases productivity
Improves time management skill
Reduces mental fatigue
Promotes work life balance
Increases flexibility

This is another effective technique that can help boost the productivity life of anyone to its peak. David Allen in his prominent book “Getting Things Done” introduced this strategy of accomplishing things that can be done within the next two minutes and beginning with the most important task of things that cannot be done within the next two minutes.
Example of 2 minutes task includes responding to a mail or an official call and decluttering your workspace, with that, you have the motivation to continue another task ahead. That little task that has been accomplished within 2 minutes sets the pace to achieve greater task as the mind is motivated and ready to work at that point.

Optimizing workflow

Aids to battle procrastination

Morale boost for another task

Swift task clearance like responding to official mail and decluttering your workspace.

In conclusion, workplace productivity is achievable and attainable and we must note that the basis is from our daily routines beyond the workplace and a growth mindset that is ready to adapt and accept new challenges.

There are other techniques that can be applied to increase productivity, nevertheless these techniques have been given as the basis to help anyone regardless of their previous unproductive lifestyle to start up and move on the pedestal of productivity.

The strategies discussed have proven to be efficient over years in the workplace and the key to it is consistency and openness to continuous learning.

A productive lifestyle is achievable and attainable and it sets you on a pathway of excellence.


Peace Chinyere Ogbonna
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