Effective is doing the right things for the right results. Efficient is optimizing. It’s the least waste of time and effort.
Before you try to be more efficient, first try to be more effective. There’s no point in optimizing ineffective things. I think of this as first asking, “What do I want to accomplish?”, then asking, “Where can I optimize?” For example, I first make sure I have the right things on my To Do list, before I try to optimize them and whenever I’m learning something new, I first focus on the mechanics before I speed up. In other words, don’t try to shoot the bow faster before you can hit the target using the right technique.
One important Covey lesson one of my mentor’s always points out is, “Be efficient with things, but be effective with people.” I like the distinction.
Getting Results includes some simple ways to improve your efficiency and effectiveness.
Photo by eyeliam.