Productivity – an overview

Productivity in the workplace is a measure of your effectiveness – with a focus on both the quality and quantity of the work you do.

Your personal productivity is influenced by a range of factors:

  • Lifestyle
  • Attitude
  • Work Environment
  • Habits
  • Tools
  • Skills
  • Knowledge
  • Community



Lifestyle is about how you’re living your life. Your lifestyle choices impact your productivity in the workplace. The secret is becoming aware of how what you’re doing when you’re not at work is influencing your productivity at work.


Attitude or mindset is about how you approach things mentally. If you hate your job, you’re going to find it difficult to be more productive. If you’re set in your ways and not open to change, you’re going to struggle with doing things differently, which is often a key ingredient for increasing productivity.

Work Environment

If you work in an environment that does not encourage change or innovation, you’re likely to meet resistance whenever you try something different. Sometimes you have to take a risk and lead from where you are, even if you aren’t in charge. And, more importantly, when you are.


Your daily habits either facilitate or impede your productivity. You need to bring your habits into awareness and to assess their value. Some of them may have to go. You may need to develop some new ones.


There are plenty of productivity tools or apps available on the open market – but what’s available in your workplace? If you’re self-employed you get to experiment and choose. If you’re an employee you’ll need to master what’s available.


What are the skills required to do your job? Do you have them? Can you learn them? Are you prepared to invest in your own education?


What do you know about your job or your role in the workplace? And, just as important, what don’t you know about it? What knowledge do you need to have to be more effective? Are you prepared to get that knowledge?


Who are the people around you? Are they supportive of your desire to increase your productivity? Does your productivity depend upon the actions of others?

If you want to increase your productivity, you’ll need to address each of these factors.

Peter Mulraney has forty years experience working in schools, banking, and government. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic, The New Girlfriend and Everyday Project Management.

4 drivers of crime

Crime fiction explores personal motives, like revenge or jealousy, to explain why people commit crime. But what’s driving real crime?

Four drivers to consider:

  • Poverty
  • Lack of respect
  • Greed
  • Lack of political courage


You only have to look at the socio-economic demographic of the incarcerated population 2013-02-04 10.36.20to know this is true – if you’re brave enough to do that research.

The average cost of housing a prisoner in Australia is $292 per day or $106,580 per year, according to a recent Productivity Commission report. No doubt the costs are similar in similar jurisdictions across the western world.

It seems we can find the money to lock up the poor in our prisons but we can’t find the money to seriously address the causes of poverty in our societies.

Lack of respect

  • Lack of respect for women.
  • Lack of respect for children.
  • Lack of respect for minorities.

Why are there protests against rape and the failure to address it seriously in so many countries?

Why are we having enquiries into the sexual abuse of children?

Why is there a need for a #blacklivesmatter movement?

Why is domestic violence only now becoming part of the political agenda?

Respect does not have a dollar cost but it does require that we see each other as equal human beings.

Why is that so hard?


48This is the real reason why we all had to suffer the consequences of the so called Global Financial Crisis. This is the real reason why we are facing what Al Gore told us was the inconvenient truth of global warming. Most of those responsible don’t have a criminal record.

The reverse side of one person’s greed is the impoverishment of many. Think about the leaders of industry who pay themselves millions and their workers the basic minimum wage. What do you think the consequences of that are?

One term used to describe it is the working poor – people with full time jobs whose incomes fall below the poverty line in their society. You wouldn’t think it would be possible in some of the richest nations on earth – but it’s a reality for millions. Remember Mitt Romney’s comment on the 47% who wouldn’t vote for him?

Lack of political courage

Lack of political courage at both a national and personal level.

Politicians don’t want to rock the boat in a world of patronage, where taking the courageous stand will cost them their job. All political parties rely on ‘donations’ to survive.

Governments want to be re-elected. Everyone in government enjoys the trappings of power.

As individuals, we’re all looking after our own interests.

We have forgotten that we are part of a community.

Closing thought

The golden rule – ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’ – can be traced back to two commandments Jesus gave to his disciples:

  • Love one another.
  • Love your neighbour as yourself.


There’s is nothing in the intention of the golden rule about screwing one another – either literally of figuratively.