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Ask any successful business owner and they will tell you one of the number one rules to optimizing the success of a business starts with producing effective results with the greatest efficiency. This may not seem like a concern if you don’t own your own business, but even as an employee, or business professional, your success is riding on your ability to perform with the greatest effectiveness and efficiency.
Whether you are an employee or business owner, it is your goal to be as effective as you can with the greatest efficiency. If you are an employee, the more effective and efficient you are, the greater asset you present to your employer. As a business owner, the more you can optimize these two factors, the greater return on investment you will realize in your business.
So, how do you improve your career or business by improving effectiveness and efficiency? Let's begin by reviewing the difference between the two terms:
Effective - Producing a decided, decisive or desired effect. Effective emphasizes the actual production of or the power to produce an effect or result.
Efficient - Acting or a potential for action or use in such a way as to avoid loss or waste of energy in effecting, producing or functioning.
Effectiveness is the building block, while efficiency is the process of refinement. The better you become at effecting positive results with the greatest efficiency of effort, the bigger asset you become - and so does your business.
Optimizing effectiveness and efficiency doesn’t have any relation to IQ or intelligence levels, it‘s really an awareness of your habits. It’s a delicate balance between effecting positive results with the least amount of energy expenditure. This essentially means that you expend the least amount of energy with the largest return - while effectively creating the desired result.
Take Henry Ford for example, here is a man that was not well educated, but knew that in order to build a successful business he needed to be effective and efficient. Granted, Ford had other skills that contributed to his success, but he was obsessed with optimizing the effectiveness and efficiency of his assembly line in the interest of the success of his company. This obsession led to constant production procedure refinements that were unheard of at the time.
Ford understood that quality effectiveness and high efficiency were vital to building the best car with the least amount of wasted energy. Over a century later, Ford built one of the largest and most successful car manufacturers in the world. While many of his peers at the time thought his ideas were impossible, his innovations still remain a standard in modern day car manufacturing today.
Optimizing your effectiveness and efficiency is vital to your success even if you are not a Bill Gates, Donald Trump, or Henry Ford. Your personal life depends on it and so does your professional life.
Let’s start by discussing improving effectiveness. What does this actually mean? In the most basic terms, you must first learn how to create positive effects, change or results; though by definition you could be effective at producing negative effects. However, our focus is on becoming proficient at producing positive effects. The better you become at effectively creating desired results, the better your personal and professional life becomes.
So how do you know if you are being effective? The first step is to ask yourself what kind of actions you are taking. If the goal is to produce a desired result, every step between the initial action and completed action needs to be in support of the desired result.
Recall a situation or project that produced a less than optimal result. If you go back through the series of actions that led to the result, can you pinpoint what might have triggered the shift from the direction of positive results to non-effective results? When the “trigger” can be identified, you can learn from that experience and be more effective in future situations by changing or avoiding the action that created the negative result. Being effective is nothing more than a series of evaluations of past results to identify and separate the successful actions from the negative actions.
This evaluation process not only applies to your professional life, it applies to your personal life as well. Your career or your business is only as good as you are - which is why self-improvement is a vital part of your professional success. If you cannot learn to effect positive results, the success of your business will be limited. For optimal success, a dedication to improving effectiveness in your personal life is important.
Don’t ever think your career or business doesn’t have anything to do with you personally. Remember, the effects that are created in your professional life are a direct reflection of you. Every situation, whether professional or personal, deserves adequate evaluation for your improved success.
Now let’s discuss efficiency. Effectiveness is the building block and efficiency is the process of refinement. Think of it as a sort of horse and carriage. Improving efficiency isn’t possible until you actually learn how to effect results. While it is possible to be effective without being efficient, only having one of the two strengths is like missing the other piece to the puzzle. To truly be a force to be reckoned with and to grow your business, you must be able to effect positive results with the greatest efficiency.
We all have the same number of hours in a day to complete our tasks, so you must learn to produce desired results with the least amount of energy lost. This is probably one of the most common concerns I hear from my clients. They wonder how they can do more under time constraints. I ask every client the same question, how are you spending your time? In order to make more time and become better at what we do, we must learn to improve our effectiveness and efficiency.
Although most people resist it, calendaring (as I call it) is a great tool for improving effectiveness and efficiency. When you put everything in your calendar and do what it says to do (honoring the time blocks), you'll find your focus improves because you have daily tasks staring right back at you in black and white. Schedule everything in your calendar including showers, drive time, calls, marketing time, client interviews, lunch, and workouts. For every task add a 15-30 minute buffer, at least initially. This buffer will serve to add to peace of mind if unexpected delays come up. If you are actually running ahead of schedule, then you can get a head start on the next task and actually complete more in less time.
Improving effectiveness and efficiency may require improving organizational skills, maintaining a greater focus, task delegation, getting eight hours of sleep every night, or any other number of factors. Although adjustments vary from person to person, the factors remain constant and compile a set of success principles. Begin working on increasing your effectiveness and efficiency today and enjoy the benefits you receive as a result. You'll find that you will accomplish more in less time and feel great about your progress every day.
I have many of my clients use a time log to help them know where they are actually spending their time during the day. Periodically use this time log for a 2-week period of time to help you continue to be time efficient. This tool can be utilized by everyone on your team at the same time. Talk about what you realized at the end of the 2 weeks and how you can get even better with managing time.
To download my complimentary Time Log Exercise and help you and your team members be even more time efficient, so you are in a higher probability position to achieve your goals, go to: https://www.accountabilitycoach.com/time-log/. Simple instructions come with the sample document to help you know how to complete the time log.
THOMAS EDISON, AN American Inventor said:
Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he cannot afford to lose.
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