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Productivity Vs Efficiency – What’s The Difference?

To earn success is nearly everyone’s ultimate dream, in whichever field they are involved. In their success journey, most people mention two extremely important terms: Productivity and Efficiency. Be it a small business, a well-grounded organization, a very standard student life, or a medical organization, the two terms are integrated everywhere. Every team leader considers these two terms to be very crucial, no matter what the sector is. 

Do both the terms have similar meanings? How is each term different from the other? 

Let us start our article: Productivity vs Efficiency! Very frequently, the two words have been assigned a similar meaning by people. To put it straight: productivity and efficiency are two terms that have interchangeable use, but at no cost; one should be convinced that the two terms mean the same thing. To know more about how these related terms are different, read ahead as the article continues. Let us start this article by digging a little deeper into the meanings of the terms! Let us understand the difference between the two terms: productivity versus efficiency. 

What do the terms productivity and efficiency mean?

Understanding what productivity means

Understanding what productivity means

Let us start by understanding the individual terms by giving an insight into each term. 

Productivity, in layman’s words, can be explained as how much output was generated by an individual. In other words, we can also refer to productivity as the measured performance of the individual. It is chiefly associated with the yield of an individual, firm, or organization. Lower yield will be a reflection of lower productivity, while increased productivity will represent higher productivity. Productivity is the amount of work done by an individual or organization. 

If we follow the meaning of the term “productivity,” it is defined as the ability (quality) or power that helps to generate desired results in large quantities. The emphasis on productivity revolves around the output generated. To understand it more clearly, let us try to follow the meaning by the following example. Let us suppose one story writer finished writing four stories in the first week. In the second week, he was just able to write two stories. According to the definition of productivity, the story writer was more productive in the first week. Productivity simply considers the maximized output production. 

What is efficiency?

What is efficiency?

In simple words, efficiency is being more productive with the least amount of effort put in. Being more efficient means you assemble results with less wastage and contribution of efforts. In other words, one may call it optimizing every effort without wasting the slightest of it. Efficiency is more about the usage of resources in producing a particular result of finishing any assignment. An efficient work requires lesser raw materials, low input of effort, and less time consumption. 

The idea of efficiency is all about the quality of the tasks. Efficiency is regarding obtaining the best output even if the resources are limited. It takes into account the achievement based on the production of the best outputs out of the accessible inputs and minimizing the loss. Any task or work can be said to be less efficient if it uses a lot of raw materials and effort. Meanwhile, a considerable amount of time has to be invested. The waste should be minimal if one has to achieve efficiency.  Waste here refers to any loss of effort, time, resources, and materials.

The differences between productivity and efficiency understood briefly 

Productivity vs efficiency, let us know more about the differences. If we superficially look at the two terms, generally, a person will consider both terms to be similar. But if we individually pick each of the two terms and analyze the meaning of the terms, we no more will overlook the difference they have. If X can generate 500 lines of code in 2 hours and Y is able to write 350 lines of code in the same time period as X. X will be tagged as more productive while Y will be said to be less productive. But X’s code required 1 hour to rectify the bugs of the code, while Y’s code just takes about 10 minutes to debug the code. This concludes even though X is more productive, he fails at being efficient. In contrast, Y was less productive than X, but his work was more efficient.

Let us consider another example to understand the difference in a better way. For example, you run a small business of an accessories brand. Your daily income from your small business is $100. You daily invest $50 in your business, and you spend another 40$ that, including all your other expenses of yours. Earning $100 will be considered as your productivity, while the remaining money after the investment and spending is your efficiency, i.e., $10.

Productivity is just concerned about the production of the outputs or results, while efficiency maximizes the production with a lesser loss of inputs and a higher rate of production. We can also say that while productivity just focuses on the quantity of production of output, efficiency implies the quality of the products obtained. Productivity takes into account the performance of the task. Efficiency determines the utilization of the input like efforts, time, and resources. Productivity measures accomplishments roughly, while efficiency is a refined calculation of achievement.

We now understand the difference between both of the terms, productivity vs efficiency. And we gained knowledge about how both of these terms are crucial not only for businesses but also for the regular population. What is it that makes these two terms so important? How can we be more productive? How can we be more efficient? If you have a similar kind of question, stick with us, and we promise to answer all your questions.

How to be more productive and efficient?

How to be more productive and efficient?

Efficiency vs productivity, which one of them should be termed as important? For any business, both of the terms are important. To attain productivity and efficiency, you should prioritize your tasks and focus more on crucial tasks. Develop an interest in digging deep into your working domain rather than just covering things on the surface. One of the most influential tips is to divide all your tasks into smaller fragments. And while you are working, do not forget to take small breaks in between to be more productive and efficient. Finish individual tasks in one go instead of piling a bunch of tasks on your desks. Focusing on one task makes you put all your efforts into that particular task leading to the result being more efficient. 

Avoid setting goals that you can accomplish. Setting goals blooms out productivity and efficiency, but you should be aware of your capacities. Unrealistic goal planning can affect the productivity and efficiency of your tasks. If you are a team leader, more productive and efficient results can be achieved if you allot tasks and roles to different team members. Be clear with the team about the quantity and quality of work you are expecting. Inspecting productivity and efficiency on your own and building your own metrics can be extremely helpful.

Why is being productive and efficient so pivotal?

We have talked everything about being productive and efficient, but we did not discuss why? Being productive is simply a requirement as it allows for finishing more tasks. And with efficiency, you can also maintain the quality of your productive work. Using both of these, one can obtain the best possible results from the available resources, time, and efforts.

Wrapping It Up 

Productivity and efficiency are two terms differing in their meanings. But both of the terms are equally important to any business. Productivity may result in a huge amount of output, but if efficiency is missing, it can be detrimental to your business. True productivity of any business or task is an integrated performance linked with higher productivity and great efficiency. The two terms, productivity vs efficiency, surely mean very different things, but for attaining the best outputs, you can not eliminate either of them.

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