Efficiency vs. Effectiveness [Self-Development]

There are many different types of people in your workplace; however, all of these people use their time in only 1 of 4 ways:

First, you have Daniella, who gets into work early and leaves late.  Daniella is the type of person that averages a 12-hour work day, and is usually seen walking around the office making jokes and sending random e-mails, and IM chats. Daniella’s work habits, and time management skills, may be described as not-efficient and not-effective.  Daniella is rarely promoted and receives low-to-medium reviews on a yearly basis.

Second, you have Ricky who also puts in long work days; however, Ricky sticks to himself and is usually busy all day.  He usually ends the day off by saying “I was so busy today I just couldn’t seem to catch my breath, but I still didn’t get much done.”  Do you ever feel like this?  Ricky’s work habits are the trademark of high-efficiency, and low-effectiveness: lots of action, but lack of results.  Ricky receives medium reviews and is promoted at a rate similar to the majority of his co-workers.

Next comes Rob, who is a part-time DJ that loves to mix Hip-Hop. He is the guy who takes a couple of extra breaks every day, and takes a nap after his 2-hour lunch….every day.  After his nap, he puts on his headphones and gets in the zone for about 3 hours.  So, in Rob’s typical 8-hour work day he does about 3 hours of actual work.  The amazing thing about Rob is that his work is always of high-quality.  Rob gets phenomenal reviews from management, and is promoted more often than others in the office.  Rob is the epitome of a highly-effective, but not efficient worker.  When all is said and done, Rob gets his shit done and still has time to throw the Frisbee around.

Finally, you have Wayne who is known around the office as “The Machine.”  Wayne comes into work for eight hours, puts on his headphones, and takes care of business.  All of his projects are on-time, on-budget and always of high-quality.  Wayne is constantly being promoted, and is an amazing asset to every team that he works on.  Wayne is a highly-efficient, and a highly-effective individual.

     Efficiency: the process of staying busy all the time, with no idle moments.

     Effectiveness: the process of producing the maximum results, in the minimum time, with the minimum effort.

Which person are you? If you are not Wayne then you definitely have room for improvement.  So, you’re probably wondering, “How do I get to Wayne’s level?”

You become effective by working smart instead of working hard.  To double your effectiveness apply the 20/80 rule, where prioritized tasks always come first.  In your life, 20% of your activities will produce 80% of the results that you are after.  Just 20% of your listed activities will take you faster and farther than others.  So, focusing on these 20% is what transforms energy-wasting efficiency into results-producing effectiveness.

Our minds tend to take the path of least resistance.  I will be the first to admit that, on a To-Do List, I will start off by tackling the easiest tasks first.  I think to myself…”well, i’ll get more of these quick-hitter tasks out of the way, and then get to the important ones.”  This mentality is not following the 20/80 rule, and is incorrect.  In what order do you attack your To-Do List?  Therefore, in order to transform efficiency into effectiveness, you must write a To-Do list, prioritize your tasks, and stick to their order.

In my first few weeks working for Cameesa, I used to program every day because I wanted to improve the website. However, once I learned about, and applied, the 20/80 rule, I realized that programming was not in the top 20% of tasks.  Although, we needed to improve the Cameesa site on a daily basis, I found out that we needed to bring Cameesa to the world and, at that point, the 20% of my most important activities became: reaching out.  Communicating to the world, and spreading the word of Cameesa, will bring me 80% of the results that I am looking for.  Since then, I spend a lot more time reaching out to t-shirt blogs and other potential Artists, Supporters, and Shoppers.

The 20/80 Rule will allow you to do twice as much in half of the time, so start using it today.

This 20/80 Rules comes from Charles Givens’, SuperSelf.

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