‘Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.' Peter Drucker.
This is a great quote from Peter Drucker because it goes beyond the typical time-management narrative of ‘working productively’ and goes on to point out that if you’re not doing the right things then your wasting time.
Working smart and being productive is extremely important, and we cover this a lot in our posts on TOAD® Blog. However, what makes this particular quote so insightful is it takes it a step further… You need to also be effective.
So what do you need to have to be effective?
You need to have set yourself goals.
Determine what you want to achieve.
It’s impossible to set goals if you don’t have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Ask any (good) Entrepreneur what they want to achieve, and they’ll give you an answer without taking a breath. It’ll almost always be the ‘big picture’ condensed down into a single sentence.
A good way to start this process for yourself is to write a single ‘headline’ vision statement of where you want to be or have achieved in the next 5 years. Where do you see your business, family, life, career?
The next step is crucial… break your vision statement down into manageable, achievable pieces. These are your goals, and this is what will allow you be effective not just efficient.
Prioritize your goals in both time and dependency. i.e) What must be done this month to work towards your vision. What needs doing before other tasks can take place.
TOAD® Tip: It’s really great to break it down into monthly, quarterly and annual task lists because this can help you see that the end result to perfectly doable!
Once you’ve established your goals you can start to see if your work is effective and not just efficient (as I’m sure you are if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time). The key to this is is to do weekly reviews, which is one of the best time-management habits you can develop.
In short, it involves looking at your performance over the week and to look at how your work is helping you achieve your goals.
These techniques will help in all walks of life, whether you're a career professional or a student looking into their next step in education. If you're in the latter group then there is a great resource over at Tutorful which can help you get organized approaching your entrance into higher education.