Performance = potential – interference (P=p-i)

a formula for Productivity as defined by Joakhim Ahlstrom

It has been a year since i came back from japan (after living there for 1 year) and up to now i have been trying to recover the same level of productivity that i had there.

When i came back, i was still trying to understand “How was i different when i was there”?
“How was I able to study more focus more and do more”?

First i thought it was the nice weather, so i installed airconditioning, “Aha! now that it is not warm, maybe i can concentrate on reading my books again”, but it was still not enough. I constantly tried to find ways to mimic my conditions there until i found this formula (P=p-i) from Joakhim Ahlstrom and things made more sense to me.

Performance (or Productivity) = Potential – Interference

In 7habits of highly effective people(habit1:proactivity), these concepts are represented as circle of influence(potential) and circle of concern(interference). Basically those two circles are everything that you care about.

Sample Scenario #1: Productivity at Work
P (Productivity at Work) = p (new ideas, eagerness to go to work after a good night’s sleep) – i (preparing in the morning, commuting to work)
Therefore, my mood/productivity when i come to the office highly depends on how much stress i had while commuting (long uncertain waiting, traffic, inconsiderate/annoying passengers) or how eager i am to work on my new ideas, whichever is higher

In PH, some of the interference during commuting are
– waiting in line (or worse no line) for the Public Utility Vehicles (jeep/van/bus) to arrive
– traffic
– annoying passengers
– hot weather, Pollution

In Japan, you dont have those, so if you have the same level of eagerness when you wake up in the morning, you will have more of that left if you are to travel from home to work in japan compared to travelling from home to work in PH

I often say to my friends and coworkers that everything is so convenient in japan that you have almost 0 interference, and because you see good quality service all around you you cant help but feel that urge to contribute back which gives you negative interference so [P = +potential +inteference] is just too much productivity

“The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.”
― Robert Henri

Sample Scenario #2: Benefits from having employees with different perspectives
P (Benefits from having employees with different perspectives) = p (unique ideas, unique perspective, unique experiences of each staff) – i (lack of organizational direction/standards)

if An organization does not have a clear vision, core values or guiding principles, it is highly likely that its members will eventually (subconciously) make their own leading to ego wars. Then discussions cant be objective anymore because religious factions have already appeared revolving on their own subcultures. Situations like this just lead to stress and unproductive meetings.

On the otherhand, if an organization has a string vision and core values and its leaders reinforce it regularly, new ideas/conflicting ideas can be sorted out objectively without hurting anyone.

I think i can cite more examples, because i often think of them on my freetime. But i am too lazy to write about them right now. (i wonder what interference im having now)

Sample Scenarion #3: Travelling/Vacation

P (relaxation) = p (new views, new experiences, a break from life’s monotony) – i(cost, planning, travelling’s inconveniences)

in PH it is common that people feel very exhausted when they come back after a vacation.

Now that you are aware at the concept of Interference/Impediments, think about your interfefences/impediments that prevent you from being more productive in things at you do and I hope you can also slowly work on them to be more productive and less stressed. 🙂

― Will Mcavoy

“The first step in solving a problem is recognizing there is one”

― Will Mcavoy, The Newswroom