8:05 PM

Measuring Productivity

I'm curious as to how other people out there have their productivity measured at their workplace. Is it the number of reports you write? Sales that you make? Patents or ideas you generate, or what? The reason I'm wondering this is because I had a really busy day today, but I think I produced just about no measurable work. How did my day get so busy? Well, I showed up to the clinic to collect a blood sample from a patient who's on my study right now. While I'm there, I see a patient who was previously on my study; the one who gave me the deer roast and bottle of wine. So, I stop and chat with them for a while as they wait to be called in to see the doctor. On my way out, I see my patient who left me the blood sample, and sitting right next to him is another patient who used to be on my study. So, I stop and chat with her for a bit before chatting with my current patient. Then as I'm leaving the clinic, I notice my current patient's mother sitting in the waiting area just outside the clinic, so I stop and talk with her for a while too. Before I know it, it's after 11:40am and I haven't even started any of the work I was planning to do.

While I felt unproductive for not doing all that desk-work I was planning, I can't quite bring myself to say that I had an unproductive day. But I guess if you look at my measurables, I'd fail pretty badly. So, what do you guys think? Is there any way for me to get around that?


Barry said...

I too have encountered this issue. That type of activity is not acknowledged in one's calculus of worthy work, usually. And yet, it seems to accomplish something.

Sometimes I've yearned for some kind of stopwatch or time management software to help me quantify where the time goes. When there's a task to be done, time that disappears in this way is sometimes regretted in the wee hours or the skinny minutes before a deadline.

We're not likely to steel ourselves against encounters with people and somehow breeze by them, nor should we. It's sometimes simply necessary to avoid certain situations, because we know our own tendancies. A good example of this is checking e-mail in the morning- sometimes, it's best to just not do it, or restrict ourselves to scanning it for really crucial messages and then leaving it alone.

Hell, I have forgotten what kinds of question Karen asked of us. Perhaps I have made some comments in line with her flow..