About personal efficiency
“Efficiency is doing things right; Effectiveness is doing the right things.”
— Peter Drucker
It means that if you are efficient, you are producing results with little wasted effort. Quite often, people are saying that effectiveness is more important than efficiency. Effectiveness means setting the right goals – it represents our strategical thinking.
In my opinion effectiveness and efficiency are equally important and closely interlinked. But it is not the purpose of this post.
The reason for this post is personal. Recently, I have noticed that my efficiency has dropped. I feel overwhelmed, disorganized, and lacking the focus. My time is flying, and I don’t see the results expected. I had to look for the advice how to get back on the right track.There are multiple recommendations which are practical and useful (I listed some of them below):
- Planning your day. It takes not more than 15 minutes to go through what the tasks are, get them scheduled during day. Planning and scheduling helps to speed up the completion of the tasks. Organizing our work is a key element to managing our time well.
- Stop multitasking. Concentrate on the single task during specific time slot. Interruptions destroy efficiency.
- Start early. Most of us feel more energized after breakfast and coffee at 7:00am rather than at 11:00am. It allows to add some productive time to our day.
- Schedule time for emails. It is recommended to delay checking and answering emails until 11am at earliest.
- Have a finishing time. If there is a certain time you must finish work, you are forced to work quickly to stay on the schedule.
Actually, I follow most of these recommendations – over the years, it has become my second nature. During my research, I found something very important, and it explains my concerns regarding personal efficiency.
Highly efficient people are capable of continuously renewing and ‘recharging’ themselves:
- Physical: the right diet, physical exercise, sports, stress management;
- Intellectual: reading, entertaining, designing;
- Emotional: social relationships, empathy, inner security;
- Spiritual: reviewing and clarifying values and commitments, lifelong learning, meditation.
Our ability to work efficiently must be supported and fed by a variety of activities which are not directly linked to our work. It is an important reminder.