Efficiency is not the same as effectiveness.

Finding efficiencies is important to enhance your productivity, but will only enhance your life if they are also effective. Getting a lot done is worthwhile if those things are in line with your goals, otherwise you may just be busy for reasons that are not very important. Before you put your energy into accomplishing a task, question what that task is for, and if it really needs to be done (done by you or done at all). So many people run around trying to get on top of everything they need to do, and it’s possible that many things they accomplish aren’t very important.

Take action: The next time you go through your emails, put thought into which ones align with your goals. Instead of reacting to everything in front of you and trying to get through it all as efficiently as possible, focus only on what will be effective for your future.

Inspired by Stephen Covey’s book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Thought starter: Have you focused on being efficient and accomplished tasks, that in hindsight, aren’t very important? Where should you be putting your efforts instead?

4 Replies to “Efficiency is not the same as effectiveness.”

  1. This tip was a great reminder for me – I’ve spent years working on being efficient, and had my team focused on efficiencies so we could all be more productive. Now I realize we wasted a lot of time and energy on projects that were not focused on our end goal. I learned from it, but would also have liked to have been working more effectively, and putting that effort towards things that were more worthwhile for the long term.

  2. Efficiency is not the same as effectiveness.
    This saying makes me wonder if I am too efficient. I seem to have a desire to put objects after being used, away immediately. I called it being tidy. Often times the article is reused shortly afterwards and could have been left out a while longer. Replacing it every time actually makes more work. Is this a compulsive obsession? I should start to analyze my behavior.

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