A great deal of productivity is lost because people focus on time instead of work. It isn’t the amount of time spent on a task that matters–it is the amount of work that is accomplished. Unfortunately, time is often the easiest thing to measure. Because it is easy to measure, most people are paid for their time instead of what they actually accomplish.
Of course, in some rough way, time does translate into work. You can usually get more done in 2 hours than you can in 1, but the time element isn’t where the focus should be. It is easy to spend 2 hours without really accomplishing anything significant.
When we are focused on time instead of work, we tend to do the tasks that are the most pleasant first. When we focus on accomplishing work, we tend to start with the tasks that give the greatest return. By shifting our focus away from hours and thinking more about what is actually being accomplished, we can increase productivity.