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Quantifying Productivity with Nach

Published 26 Apr 2014 | Category: New Features

Typical methods of quantifying productivity tend to focus around splitting time into productive time and unproductive time. This is a good start - being aware of where time is going can be a powerful wake up call, and can help to cut down on unequivocally distracting past-times.

One thing this won't solve, however, is work for work's sake - time spent in a way that on the surface seems industrious, but without any higher level thought into whether it's an effective use of time that's helping progress towards any important goal. It also won't highlight whether there's something more important being avoided, and working on an less crucial task is simply a form of procrastination.

With Nach, we're trying to take productivity tracking a step further, by looking at how productivity can be quantified in ways that relate directly to progress towards high-level personal goals. You may have noticed that the 30-day History chart has been given a bit of an upgrade:

Instead of just tracking goal and step completions, we've now taken the first move towards an improved quantification system. All actions on the site are now classified as either: positive, negative, or neutral.

Breaking down and categorising things down to such a granular level gives us a productivity logging system we're finding to be a more true representation of effective productivity.

Standard maintenance actions, like creating or editing a step, are neutral, and won't show on the graph. Achieving goals, steps, targets, and positive habit reinforcement, now all count as positive actions, and will lead to taller bars on the graph.

The biggest change is the introduction of negative actions, visible by ticking "Show negative actions" checkbox above the graph. This will introduce bars extending downwards below the graph, indicating negative actions taken during the day. These include: failing a step, goal, or target; not completing a step on the day it's due; and postponing a step (you can still edit a step's due date without it counting as a negative action - just don't use the "postpone" feature).

Instead of trying to measure time usage, we're measuring the discrete number of positive goal-oriented actions completed, as well as the number of missed expectations on the negative side of the chart. By design, every step on Nach can be traced up the hierarchy to a top-level goal.

The actions which constitute the history chart directly correspond to those shown on the Step History Chart, which can be edited if any adjustments are needed:

We're already looking into ways we can make these figures even more meaningful. Currently all actions hold the same significance (a +1 or -1), so introducing a weighting system based on factors like the significance and difficulty of the achievement, are one of the first areas we're exploring.

Anyway, we hope you'll find this latest addition as useful we are, and that it helps you look back and reflect on your own effective day-to-day productivity.

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