Yes, there is a difference between being effective and being efficient! …and yes you can be both at different times. Let’s dive in.
Efficient: What I call a “to-do list person.”
- You are focused on quantity-how much can you get done.
- You are thinking about the present and what is primarily next on your list. Think of Youtube mom with kids. They seem to not be without screenshots of their to-do lists containing laundry, making lunches, working out, yada yada. Your list is typically in an unorganized fashion and as long as it gets done that’s all that matters.
- You sometimes may not know where to start.
- There’s usually no clear direction or priorities set on your list; it’s doing as much as you can, otherwise known as “deadline focused.” Whatever doesn’t get done off your list simply moves to the next one.
Effective: What I call a “Vision priority person.”
- You are focused on the present and consciously choosing what you do based on how it will affect your future.
- What you do is usually quality-focused to achieve particular goals.
- You are methodical in how you approach what you need to do and will usually batch things together or complete tasks that are organized by priority.
- Whatever the top priority is, is where you start. Think of someone who needs to run payroll, answer emails, run to Target for stationary and make calls to customers…they will most likely run payroll first as a priority, then make their calls while they run to Target and batch answering e-mails at a later time.
- It’s not the quantity of what is done, it’s the quality of how they use their time.
So what’s better?
Well, it depends…if you work in the retail or food industry you most likely are efficient because you have to respond to the customers and other assigned daily tasks that are probably unorganized. After all, that’s how the job flows. But, if you are the CEO of your company you would need to be an effective manager who prioritizes whom/what they respond to maximize the quality of the company’s future.
I used to be an efficient “to-do lister,” but that has changed over the years as a business owner. I realize that the more added to my plate, the less achievable and larger my lists become. Now, I am more effective and intentional about the quality of my time.
Are you more effective or efficient or a little of both? Does being home or at work make a difference? Does it make a difference if it’s a weekday or weekend? Let us know…