While I pride myself on being efficient, living optimally within the constraints surrounding me, and loving how natural it typically is for me, I realize that efficient doesn’t always mean “effective”. If you’re trying to get to the store, your goal is to “get to the store”, right? So, would it be more efficient to walk there or drive your car? It depends. Are you trying to save gas in your car? Then walking is more “efficient”. Are you trying to save time? Then driving your car is more efficient. Or is it?
Being efficient is all about improving your situation without negatively impacting anyone else. Being effective is getting to the expected outcome. Since being efficient can have some “perspective” to it, it’s important to know what your perspective is… WHILE planning your outcome. Of course, we all want to get to our outcome the simplest, most direct route we can, don’t we? If we intend to have a new patio installed in the back of our house, and we want it in time for summer, but don’t actually complete it until the fall, we’re still effective if we’ve achieved the outcome we intended to achieve, right? But we sure weren’t efficient in doing so!
You can also see the reverse happen – you can be very efficient, without ever being effective! If you want to empty your email inbox and bring it do zero by the end of each and every day, you are being efficiently organized. But if you’re simply doing this by deleting everything out of your inbox without reading any of it, you might not be very effective (or maybe you are!). Especially if you’re in the customer service field, and your job is to respond and make as many customers happy as possible – even through email. Oops! Gold star on efficiency, but big chunk of coal for being ineffective!
Do you have any hiccups or areas in your personal or professional life that cause you to be less efficient or effective than you’d like to be? There is always – and yes, I do mean always, areas to improve. What may have been perfect one day, is probably no longer perfect the next because we live in a dynamic and changing world. Being just efficient, or just effective is no longer “good enough”. We should all strive to be efficiently effective! Stay tuned to hear what some of our top inefficiencies are, and how to address them!