Peter Drucker, the influential management consultant and writer, says that efficiency is doing things right but effectiveness is doing the right things. I used to have a secretary who was the most efficient person I could have found. It didn’t matter if there was a tricky situation, things were always black and white. She did things right but there were times that she didn’t do the right thing.
I was thinking about Velma (it WAS the South after all) the other day, wondering how she was getting along and the memory reminded me of the times I wanted to pull my hair out. It’s easy to teach efficiency but effectiveness takes serious training.
Then I wondered how effective I am now. I wanted to groan. I work long hours but do I get the right things done? I think it all comes down to what the goal is we’re heading for. My goal is fuzzy so I suspect my effectiveness is fuzzy as well. It’s time to get my goals better defined and then up my efficiency quotient dramatically.
We all accept that if you’re in business today, you must have a presence on Facebook and Twitter and probably Google+. If you’re a blogger like I am, then there has to be frequent posting. If you’re a food blogger like I am, then there’s dishes to create, food to buy, food to prepare and cook, dishes to be photographed and blog posts to be written.
It’s all about time — are we doing what we love doing? Do we enjoy what we’re doing? Are there more things we like about our jobs than we hate? (All jobs have tasks we don’t enjoy) I’ll admit there are things I do that make me want to spit but thankfully not many.
The trick as I see it is identifying all the tasks we need to complete in order to be effective and then become efficient at getting them done. No spending time chatting away on social media. Get in, get it on and get off but do it religiously.
Tips for Effectiveness:
- Use a Calendar
Don’t assume you’ll remember you promised to do something a week from Tuesday.
- Do It Once
Read the mail and answer it, file it or throw it in the trash. Don’t have 10,000 emails in your inbox.
- Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Rarely will we do things that someone hasn’t already mastered. Learn from the experts.
If something is difficult for you or you hate it so much you procrastinate, pay someone to help you.
- Set Deadlines
It’s amazing how much more we accomplish when we know something has to be done
Categorize your tasks into A = do now or you’ll lose your job or go bust, B = things that are important and must be done but aren’t critical and C = those tasks you can fit in when you have a spare moment or need a break.
- Plan Ahead
I’m guilty of packing 2 hours before the plane leaves – planning is important so you’ll have matching shoes.
- Keep Your Desk Clean
Look at your desk and imagine that it’s your mind. An organized desk is an organized mind.
We have a choice to fritter our time away in front of the TV or on social media or to use time management tools to get things done. I know it’s easy to put my feet up and eat a bag of chips while watching TV but that’s not going to get me anywhere.
Do you have effective time management tips?