10 Essential Elements of Human Performance and Productivity

High performance and productivity have more elements and characteristics than you can shake a stick at.  The literature in the field is full of tips for improving your performance and productivity.

But you don’t want to spend months or years trying to figure out what works best for you.  So, from time to time those of us who spend a great deal of attention on these issues come up with handy little lists of essentials to help you focus on the more meaningful and helpful areas to work on.

Here’s one of my latest ones.  I’ll be taking each of the elements and expanding them in later posts.

But, don’t just wait for me! You can use the list to go out and research what others have already said.  And if you do wait for me, I’ll be including my favorite links in those future posts on the elements.


The List: 10 Essential Elements of Performance and Productivity


1. Energy — You have to have the physical and psychological stamina and drive to start, follow through and finish up.  We all have be taught to think about time management for getting things done, but the real work is in energy management.  You can plan and strategize and schedule all you want,  but if you don’t have the energy at the time you schedule the action or the stamina to go through all the steps to finish, the time doesn’t matter at all.

Continue Reading This Post! There’s Lots More…10 Essential Elements of Human Performance and Productivity

Cats and Ducks and Performance Improvement


Mommy And Me!

(Cat PhotoSource: iclipart.com — Duck Photo Source: Creative Commons)


What does a cute kitty video have to do with performance improvement?

I ran across a sweet, but unusual video from the BBC’s YouTube collection. Apparently a cat that had just given birth discovered some ducklings that had just hatched and adopted them as her own. (Rather than having them for lunch.) In their turn, they imprinted on her.

The story is a bit longer and has some suspense to it, so even though I’ve spoiled the ending, I’ve included the video itself below. It’s quite charming and not at all like the “cute kitty” amateur offerings you might have been subjected to in the past.

The reason I thought it was something for a performance and productivity blog is simple: one of the big takeaways from the story is that if the right circumstances occur, the most exceptional things can happen.

Much psychological and business literature is devoted to subjects like “creating change,” “finding the right perspective,” “motivating right action,” and just plain “getting things done.” So stories like this one make me ask what I can do to create circumstances that overcome natural or learned resistances and even instinctual responses. What circumstances are necessary to allow learning and growth? What timing, environment, people, training or other factors will I need to achieve a goal?

This video literally shows us that change, growth, progress and even miracles occur when we make sure that we have all our ducks in a row. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Enjoy the video.

Hope is A Productivity Tool

In both children and adults, there can be a hard-to-deny link between a robust sense of hope and either work productivity or academic achievement.
Photo Credit: Tiago Gerken — Source: Unsplash.com

What makes hope a productivity tool?

I found the quotation in the image above on a quotes site.  I liked it, but I wanted to see it in context.  A bit of search located it for me in a Time Magazine article. The article was a review by Jeffery Kluger for a book called Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You Want for Yourself and Others, by Shane J. Lopez,Ph.D.  The book is a look at the psychology of hope and how it affects productivity, performance, achievement and success.  Whether in your business, career, education or relationships.

I’m glad I found it because that article and some of the articles on Lopez’ web site are excellent explanations of how hope can lead to better performance and productivity. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’ve ordered it as a result of reading the review by Jeffery Kluger and Lopez’ articles, as well as seeing some of Lopez’ videos.

For example, the Kluger review mentioned Lopez’ finding that “hope accounts for about 14% of work productivity and 12% of academic achievement.”  Naturally, I wanted to know more.  I found it in an article Lopez wrote that was published in the Huffington Post: “Why Hopeful Employees Are 14% More Productive.

In the article Lopez explains that various studies have shown that hopeful employees:

  1. Show up for work (have far less absenteeism)
  2. Are more engaged
  3. Are more creative
  4. Are more resilient in times of change or adversity
  5. Are happy

Acquiring your own hope tools for productivity.

I suggest you go read the Kluger review and the Huffington Post article. Be sure to visit Lopez’ site Hopemonger.com for more articles, videos and a self-test for hope.

Here’s a sample video of Lopez speaking on instilling hope in others.