A very simple way of thinking about productivity is to identify the things that block or slow down throughput and eliminate them. 

I know this is an oversimplification because in some case, removing a bottleneck just creates another one further down the process …. but you will almost certainly have made some impact by removing the first one…. and now you have another target.

These bottlenecks or productivity blocks may be unnecessary process steps, ineffective meetings, excessive equipment breakdowns or many other things. If you can’t easily identify such blocks, ask your employees.   They should know.  Chart the process and ask them which steps they would eliminate or improve first to make life easier.

You might not see the scale of improvement that comes from a more structured, technique -driven approach to productivity improvement …. but all gains are worth having.