Another key difference in productivity vs. efficiency is measurement. Productivity is often measured by time spent working or focusing, while efficiency is measured by resource use. Another way to look at this is task completion vs. waste reduction.
Suppose you're in charge of hiring a contractor to redo your brand's website. While you're the touchpoint for the site changes, everything goes to the CEO for approval. Toward the end of the project, the contractor identifies that you and the CEO have made conflicting changes back and forth. The deadline is still met, but you've ultimately spent $1,000 more in contracting fees due to the continuous changes.
In this scenario, the work was productive but not efficient
. If you had put a better approval process in place, the contractor wouldn't have had to bill more hours for changes, creating a waste of resources.
Challenge the status quo and take a closer look at task completion in your work. You may meet deadlines, but improving efficiency could create an opportunity to exceed them and grow.