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# Efficiency vs Productivity

, December 16, 2016 updated on January 14, 2023
Efficiency is the ratio of useful work to wasted effort.
Productivity is the amount that is produced for a unit of input.

## Efficiency vs Productivity

Efficiency is a measure of waste, or rather how much isn't wasted. In order to calculate efficiency you need to know how much a unit of a resource could produce at a maximum under ideal circumstances.
Productivity is how much you produce for a unit of a resource such as an hour of work. In order to calculate productivity you need to know how much was produced and how much of a resource was consumed.

## Human vs Machine

It is more common to apply the term productivity to human efforts because human efficiency is too difficult to measure.
Humans aren't light bulbs. It is known how much light a watt of electricity can produce at its maximum. It isn't known what an hour of human work can produce at its maximum. For example, an artist might produce an artwork in a few hours that might eventually be valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.
Human activities such as thinking may appear as wasted time but they may produce results that are only evident later. As such, productivity is a more appropriate term to apply to humans or processes with highly variable results. The term efficiency is used for processes with highly predictable results such as how many watts of electricity it takes to move a vehicle a mile.
 Efficiency vs Productivity Efficiency Productivity Definition The ratio of useful work to waste. The amount produced for a unit of input. Example A solar panel with 21% conversion efficiency. A nation that produces \$44 dollars of GDP for every hour worked.

## Productivity

This is the complete list of articles we have written about productivity.
Attention Span
Automation
Bikeshedding
Busy Work
Discipline
Division Of Labor
Efficiency
Employee Productivity
Flow Theory
Labor Intensive
Low Productivity
Practical
Proactive
Process
Productivity Analysis
Productivity Goals
Productivity Mgmt
Routine Work
Self-Discipline
Social Loafing
Teamwork
Telecommuting
Time Boxing
Toil
Tools
Work
Work Attitude
Work Decisions
Work Ethic
More ...

## Productivity

The basics of productivity.

## Flow

An overview of flow.

## Knowledge Work

A definition of knowledge work with examples.

## Bottleneck

A definition of bottleneck with several business examples.

## Productivity Formula

How to calculate productivity with 3 examples.

## Productivity Improvement

The definition of productivity improvement with examples.

## Productivity Rate

The formula for productivity rate with calculation examples.

## Toil

The definition of toil with examples.

## Work Ethic

The definition of work ethic with examples.

## Types Of Knowledge

The differences between types of knowledge.

## Curse Of Knowledge

Why experts have trouble communicating.

## Tacit Knowledge

Knowledge that escapes documentation.

## Disinformation vs Anti-Information

Two types of broken knowledge.

## Information vs Knowledge

The difference between information and knowledge.

## Expert Generalist

A definition of expert generalist with an example.

## Qualitative Data

A definition of qualitative data with examples.

## Objective vs Subjective

The difference between objective and subjective.

## Knowledge Value

A definition of knowledge value with examples.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

## New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
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