The X Factor in Productivity

Research shows Extremely Productive (XP) people are up to 3.5 times more likely to exhibit behaviors related to the key drivers of productivity compared to Productive people.

You’ve likely participated in a survey at some point that asked you to select one of the following replies in response to a descriptive statement, such as “I am extremely productive”:

1. Not at all like me

2. Not much like me

3. Somewhat like me

4. Mostly like me

5. Very much like me

The last two options are similar, right?

In reality, they’re very different. In RAIN Group’s most recent research study, The Extreme Productivity Benchmark Report, (, we analyzed responses from 2,377 business professionals to better understand what drives productivity.

Respondents were broken into productivity groups based on their answers to the following statement: “I am extremely productive.”

  • The Extremely Productive (The XP) rated themselves a 5 out of 5 on this question (“very much like me”). The XP represent 14% of respondents.
  • The (merely) Productive rated themselves a 4 out of 5 (“mostly like me”). The Productive include 48% of respondents.

One of the most surprising findings from the research was just how different people in these two groups work and the results they’re able to achieve.

If you examine the key drivers of productivity (see graphic above), The XP are up to 3.5 times more likely to exhibit these behaviors compared to The Productive. Across the board, the gaps are significant, with the largest gaps being:

  • The XP are 3.5 times more likely to recover quickly when derailed from being productive.
  • The XP are 3.3 times more likely to have productive habits overall.
  • The XP are 2.7 times more likely to regularly sustain energy for long periods of time.
  • The XP are 2.7 times more likely to start their day with their Greatest Impact Activity.
  • The XP are 2.7 times more likely to not react to other people’s agendas and drive their own.

The bottom line: If you want real results, set your (and your employees’) sights on becoming one of The XP.

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Mike Schultz is president of RAIN Group (