The worst measure of productivity


Of late, I’ve been coming across a lot of people who pride in how less they sleep. So much that, when there is a discussion around how hard they work, it always hovers around how less they sleep. And I have started to get a feeling that this is a measure of productivity for many people – hope I’m wrong here though.

While common sense would concur that this is not the best (if not the worst) measure of productivity, why would someone take pride in saying how less they sleep when the discussion is how hard they work? Is it because it is the easiest way to quantify the hard work quotient? Honestly, I have not come across any successful person talking about how many hours they sleep. In fact, I have only heard them advocating the importance of a good night’s sleep.

A better way to quantify the hard work quotient is probably how many hours we can put in at work on a weekly basis. This is holistic, gives time for all roles we need to play in life, and gives enough time for sleep. For example, I have read that Ashok Soota (co-founder of Mindtree consulting) clocks 70 hours a week at work. That is less than 50% of a week, still is a lot of work, gives enough time for all roles we want to play, and of course sleep. Needless to say, I believe he has to be highly productive given that he has been holding executive positions for more than half his lifetime, has co-founded one of the most successful companies, and at 70, has founded another company. Personally, I would like to clock not less than 55 hours at work every week – I know, I am not there yet.

So, do yourself a favor, sleep well, and if possible, take a power nap in the day. Basically, enjoy a productive life!!!


Why it Pays to be Emotionally Attached to the Workplace…


India’s best known entrepreneur, Mr. Narayana Murthy (Co-founder of Infosys for people who did not know) once said to love your job but not your company. With all due respects, I would like to differ with this.

The fundamental question is, how can we love the job if we don’t like the place we work for? Maybe the context was different, maybe what was implied was, we need to love what we are doing, but not fall in love with the place so much that we don’t feel like moving on. But fundamentally, I feel it’s not possible to love your job without liking where you do it from.

Generally, we work in a place because it provides us with enough opportunities for growth, challenge our competencies, and also recognize our efforts. Above all, it should also give us a social identity.

If all the above parameters are met, why should we not fall in love with our workplace? The moment we are emotionally attached to the work we do and feel the same about the place we do that work from, we automatically put the overall goals above our personal goals. This feeling is the starting point to reach the above targets. I guess it’s not possible for us to grow if the company we work for does not.

It’s universally agreed that only the best of performance should be rewarded. Hence, the more value we add, more are the chances to get what we want from our work place. But then, is it really possible to add value to a place that we don’t like? Is it possible to give our best to the job, irrespective of where we do it from?

I believe loving your job and the workplace are two mutually interdependent events, and one is not sustainable without the other. What do you think?

PS: I have been working at a place for about 8 years now (pretty dumb for most people in post-liberalized India), and I can proudly say I love my job and my company. And this does not mean I will not move out either. I get a hint of the most logical question that comes to mind now. I will be more than willing to reply to it in the comments text box below.

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