How Productive Are You Compared to Your Peers?

  • How Productive Are You Compared to Your Peers?

    How Productive Are You Compared to Your Peers?

    Ever wondered how those long hours you’re putting in stack up to your peers? Wonder no more.

    Productivity app RescueTime recently released a report assessing 185 million hours of work time logged through their app. The study incorporated data from professionals across numerous industries with the goal of identifying productivity and work/life balance trends that others could use as benchmarks for their own work.

    Let’s look at some of their data and see how your own habits stack up.

    Daily time spent on computers

    How long do you spend staring at your screen each day?

    According to RescueTime’s research, workers across all industries log 5 hours of computer time per day. Note that this number doesn’t include mobile browsing, which we know is a huge time sink, and it doesn’t offer any detail on how we’re using that time. For that, we need to look at the time you spend actually accomplishing your work goals.

    Time spent actually being productive

    Here’s the real question. How much time do you spend each day actually being productive?

    The research had some surprising results. On average, workers spend only 2.8 hours per day on productive tasks. This doesn’t sound like much, but it does make sense when you think about it.

    Our brains are wired for short bursts of productivity; we can get a few things done at a time, but our attention inevitably starts to wane. It’s why time management strategies like the Pomodoro Technique are so popular, and it’s why your own productivity score might be even lower than the industry average.

    But even if it is, don’t worry. Logging more “productive” hours might seem like an important goal, but equally important is how that productivity factors into your work/life balance.

    Because, really, if you don’t have balance, it doesn’t matter how productive you are. Overworked and overstressed employees don’t tend to last long in their roles. And it gets even worse when work spills over into what’s supposed to be our “down” time. According to the BLS, 33 percent of us take our work home on the weekend.

    Time spent on distractions

    When the work gets to be too much, we turn to another approach: Distraction.

    RescueTime’s study found that workers spend a full 21 percent of their day on distractions like entertainment, news, or social media. Some of this is a necessary buffer—we can’t be productive every minute of the day, after all—but it speaks to an important trend: Workers in our digital economy have more distractions than ever before.

    You can even argue that these digital tools make it harder to be productive. That’s what’s so interesting about productivity tools like RescueTime. While it might seem like just another app to distract yourself with, it’s clear from the data that many of us are struggling with the same productivity issues.

    Keeping closer tabs on how you spend your workday could be an important part of turning this around and achieving a work/life balance that you can live with.

    And as hiring professionals, we at Urgenci are well-acquainted with this balance. Feel free to give us a call if you need some tips on how to better manage your productivity.

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