Efficiency vs. Effectiveness
Have you ever had a day when you were busy from the time your feet hit the floor in the morning but you felt like you had accomplished nothing?
Have you ever had a day during which you may have done one or two significant things, and felt good about yourself for the rest of the day—or even the week?
These days, we have the “to-do” list down to a science. There are so many books on getting things done, creating the perfect to do list, effective time management, fitting more into your day, multi tasking, productivity, and organizing. Set an agenda, make your list, work like hell all day to get everything done on that list. Then come home exhausted and do it all again the next day.
This in our culture is called “winning”.
But what are you doing and why are you doing it? You’ve been great at climbing to the top, but are you sure you’re on the right ladder?
In their book, You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought, Peter McWillams and John-Roger give two definitions that changed the way I look at productivity:
Efficiency—getting the job done right
Effectiveness—getting the right job done
Now of course these definitions are not perfect, but the message is clear. We can easily get so bogged down in trying to do things that we fail to realize why we are doing them. Sometimes we become plagued by “shoulds” and “ought tos”. At other times, we get caught up in trying to maintain an image in order to defend a false sense of self. There are many sources of this clutter.
We tend to accumulate this clutter in different areas of our lives, and this clutter often shows up on our lists. This can become a trigger for burnout, resentment, and feelings of defeat. For many, it can also become a source of depression. In his book Let Your Life Speak, author Parker Palmer defines depression as “the ultimate state of disconnection—it deprives one of the relatedness that is the lifeline of every living being”. Many enter this state of disconnectedness gradually, as we drift further away from our authentic selves.
My friend, it’s time to reconnect!
How often you reconnect determines how consistent you will be at accomplishing the things that are really important to you.
How do you know what’s really important to you?
Find your WHY.
What is the reason you’re here on this earth at this time?
Do any of these ring true for you?
“I’m a courageous warrior. I’m here to become a master at everything I set out to accomplish.”
“I’m a lover. I am here to give and to help others.”
“I’m a rebel. I’m here to interrupt the system and break all the rules.”
“I’m a dreamer. My goal in life is to find happiness and peace.”
…and on and on
You get the idea. All of these are completely legitimate ways of being. There’s some guiding principle that resonates with you on a visceral level. By reconnecting with your why and making plans from that space, everything you do becomes more authentic. As discussed in “Declare Yourself”, when you refocus your energy around your why, people and situations will appear to reinforce this energy. Conversely, things and people not aligned with this energy will fall away.
How do I reconnect with my why? I’m glad you asked. Here’s one easy way to start. In “Dream On” I introduced the idea of connecting with your unconscious mind during your twilight state, the bridge between sleep and wakefulness. Each night as your last thought before bed, set an intention to reconnect with your why. Keep paper and pen next to you and write down everything you hear, see and feel when you awaken. Do this for at least a week and you will start to see a shift. When you make it a regular practice, the results will be even more significant. You will become more effective in everything—relationships, job, managing finances, having a fulfilling spiritual life, and meeting your health goals. Please make sure to record all the positive changes you see. This can be done in many ways. If you feel like you don’t have time to formally “journal”, some quick voice memos on your phone work just fine.
Have fun with this.
See you next week!