Overload, Schmoverload: The Myth Of Personal Productivity

While people may think the appropriate unit of measuring the benefits of social tools is personal productivity, it isn’t.

As we have moved from hierarchical, top-down, centralized work … to networked, bottom-up, edgewise work personal productivity has been trumped by network productivity. Network productivity is the effectiveness of a person’s entire network: contacts, contacts of contacts, and so on.

Ultimately, in a bottom-up fashion, this leads to the network as a whole making more progress than if each individual tries to optimize personal productivity.

Perhaps more importantly, the willingness to assist others leads to closer social connections, and increases the likelihood of reciprocal behavior, where an obsession with personal productivity does not.