This is the Productivity ROI

Thanks for checking out the productivity realized objective index – or Productivity ROI.

I’m developing more videos and more content around this scoring system for your to-do list that can work for individuals, businesses, children and many more, but for now, I just wanted to give you the basics of how to get started with the scoring system.

If you want to be able to have a ready-made daily planning tool to help you define your day, filter your focus, and make every moment matter than I encourage you to use The Daily driver that we’ve designed. It consists of the basic elements of TimeCrafting but also allows for simplicity and flexibility since productivity is such a personal thing. You can download The Daily Driver here.

Before we dive into the mechanics of the Productivity ROI, you should understand more about categorizing your tasks so that you can score them accordingly. (I recommend you read more about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to help with this. Learn more about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs here.)

The basics are as follows:

For any task that you need to do – either because it’s urgent or it covers one of the three basic elements of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs — then you’re going to mark it with an N, and if you complete that task, you get one point for it.

For any task that you are considering – something that you “ought to do” – mark that task with an O. If you do any task while it is marked with an O, you won’t get any points for completing it. That’s because you are undecided on this task, so perhaps it’s not something you need or want to do today or even at all. The idea is to be more decisive in your task setting. In most cases, if you decide that you were going to change the task you ought to do, it’s going to turn into something that you want to do. Otherwise, it’s just not worth having on your list at all.

If the task is something you want to do, then you’re going to want to mark it with a W. When you complete it give yourself two points. Anything you want to do will hit either the fourth or fifth level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Think about something you want to do as something important but not necessarily urgent.

One question I commonly get asked is, “What if it’s something that I need and want to do? How many points does that get?”

If it’s something you need and want to do, it’s something you probably should’ve done earlier. For example, making the welcome video displayed above. I wanted to do this for a long time, but I didn’t do it until the last possible opportunity. That means it’s more of a need to do. So, like any essential to-do items you also want to do, it only gets one point.

Once you download The Daily Driver, you will notice there are places to actually record your score per task as well as a tally at the end of the day. To get your ROI score, take the number of tasks on your list – either the ones you’ve completed or the ones you’ve listed. We’ll talk more about that in a minute. Then divide that by the total points you’ve learned throughout the day.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you completed six tasks today on your daily driver. If all of those tasks were things you needed to do, then you would have earned six points. So you take the six points that you earned and divide by the number of tasks you had listed. In this case, it would also be six. Your Productivity ROI would then be 1.0. That score is the median, which is essentially a productive day because you did everything you needed to do.

Here’s another example: Let’s say you’ve listed 10 tasks for the day — things you wanted to do and things you needed to do. You didn’t complete two of those 10 listed tasks. In this instance, you would get four points for the tasks you needed to do that you finished, eight points for the tasks you wanted to do and completed, and zero points for the two tasks that you didn’t do at all. You divide the 12 points you earned by the 10 tasks listed. That will give you an ROI score of 1.2. That score indicates you had a productive day because you not only did things you needed to do but also some things you wanted to do.

There are two ways to calculate your score: dividing your points by the number of tasks you completed or dividing them by the number of tasks you’ve listed. If you want to get a sense of how productive you were with the tasks you actually completed, then just divide the points by the number of tasks you completed to get your Productivity ROI. But if you want to get a sense of how productive you were over the course of the entire day, then divide your points by the number of tasks you listed on your daily driver.

When you first start trying to calculate and you want to keep a sense of self-care in mind, you may want to start by just dividing the number of points by the number of tasks completed. But if you want to take things to the next level and figure out if you are overwhelming yourself with tasks on a given day, then you may want to divide by the total number of tasks listed. I’ll explain this in the future, but I wanted to address it a little bit upfront so you have a choice of how you get your Productivity ROI.

You’ll notice at the bottom of The Daily Driver that there are two additional circles you can fill out. One is for tracking your habits. Whether you have a single habit that you’re tracking or several, you can divide up that circle based on the number of habits you’re working on. If you complete a habit, then you can shade it in or check it off or however you want to use it. But that won’t affect your ROI.

What will affect your ROI is whether you complete a journal entry.

If you do any journal entries during your day, then you can add one bonus point on to your task points before dividing it by the number of tasks you completed or the tasks you did. Journaling doesn’t count as a task that you completed, so this point is merely a bonus point. Why am I doing this? I want to encourage you to keep a journal. I think telling the story of your day in the form of journaling is a real qualitative measuring tool. And it doesn’t take a lot of effort. So again, if you complete a journal entry, then you can add one bonus point to your points total before dividing by the tasks you’ve completed or the tasks you’ve listed.

Anybody can use this to give themselves an idea of how productive they are being over the course of a day. (I have more tools I’ll be sharing that you can use to compare your score over a specific day of the week, over the whole week, per month, and so on. I’ll be sure to share them once they are ready for primetime.)

The other thing I really like about the Productivity ROI is that when you are working with teams, it can be a great qualitative and quantitative productivity measuring tool, especially for remote workers or businesses that are now using more remote workers than ever before. If you’re interested in learning more about how I can help your business use this measuring tool, just email me at askmike at productivityist dot com and I can explore that with you.

Finally, if you’re a parent and you are having to organize some structure in frameworks for your kids during the day, The Daily Driver has an alternate version that works well for children. There are some significant similarities between the two, but how you approach them is a bit more nuanced. If you’re interested in learning more about how to use the Productivity ROI with kids, just email me at askmike at productivityist dot com and I’d be happy to share more with you.

I’d like to thank you for taking the time to learn more about this scoring system that I’ve been testing personally for some time and I’m now ready to release to the world. You’re one of the first to check it out, and I’d love to get your feedback. Spend some time with this, and if you have any questions at all, just email me at askmike at productivityist dot com and I’ll do what I can to get back to you as soon as possible.

Take care… and keep moving things forward.

See you later,

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