Friday, February 24, 2006

Is this really surprising?

Day-Timers, the outfit that makes the archetypal personal planner books, has conducted a survey of how much people think they're accomplishing on-the-job:
Sixty percent of workers say they always or frequently feel rushed, but those who feel extremely or very productive dropped to 51 percent from 83 percent in 1994, the research showed.

Put another way, in 1994, 82 percent said they accomplished at least half their daily planned work but that number fell to 50 percent last year. A decade ago, 40 percent of workers called themselves very or extremely successful, but that number fell to just 28 percent.

"We think we're faster, smarter, better with all this technology at our side and in the end, we still feel rushed and our feeling of productivity is down," said Maria Woytek, marketing communications manager for Day-Timers, a unit of ACCO Brands Corp.

But is this surprising? Using the standard measure, current year's sales-to-expense ratio vs. the previous year's sales-to-expense ratio, American productivity has accelerated in recent years. According to the Economic Policy Institute, productivity grew an average of 2.5% annually between 1995 and 2000 -- which was about one percentage point faster than in the previous 20 years. Between 2001 and 2004 productivity grew by 4.1% annually.

We're suffering a new form of malaise from being so darn productive on paper but we feel that we're spinning our wheels. Looks like an opportunity for an all-new round of self-help books.

No comments: