Being Effective vs Being Efficient at Work

Some people tend to confuse efficiency with effectiveness. The two terms have totally different approaches. Being effective is about doing the right things while being efficient is about doing things in the right manner.

Efficiency versus Effectiveness

Besides, doing things right is not as important as doing the right things.

Let's use an example to illustrate it better:

"Parkersburg, West Virginia which is located on the east side of the Ohio River. Parkersburg is about 30 miles south of Marietta, Ohio. Marietta is on the west side of the Ohio River. Got all that?

Let's pretend there are some guys who want to get to Marietta, Ohio. They are in a canoe paddling very efficiently... except... they are in the Mississippi River (not the Ohio River). Let's say they have their canoeing down pat. They've learned to use a perfect J-stroke. They get the maximum forward movement from each ounce of expended physical effort.

Now let's take two other guys who are paddling their canoe north on the Ohio River leaving Parkersburg. They likewise want to get to Marietta. These guys are really lousy canoers. In fact, they don't even have paddles. One guy is paddling with his shoes while the other guy is paddling with his bare hands."The Gary Halbert Letter

Can you guess who is going to reach their goal, the city of Marietta?

The super-efficient team is on the Mississippi River, miles away from the river Ohio. Despite their efforts, they won't reach Marietta. Anyway, despite its lack of efficiency, the second group has a clear goal, and their efforts are focused on accomplishing what was established.

Every day in our lives and businesses, we must ensure that our efforts are on the right track.
We must focus on being effective, which will you to:

  1. Understand the work to be done, and establish the strategy and actions required.
  2. Be oriented toward the strategy and establish and maintain priorities.
  3. Evaluate your results based on your goals and not on what was done.
  4. Be flexible to changes and seek new methods to meet your goals.
  5. Search success through the achievement of goals.

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