On an average day, Entrepreneurs make dozens of personal and work decisions. Here is a hard truth for entrepreneurs: if you are not conscious of where and how you are spending your time and resources, you start to become a reactor to life instead of an actor. You become a slave to time instead a master. I want to remind you to have the skill of awareness, which means you need to be present and conscious of how you are using your time.
You should ask yourself this question each time a task, function, or activity needs to be done: “Is this the Most Effective (PROFITABLE) Use of My Time Right Now?”
If you don’t get the correct answer back, you should eliminate the activity, or delegate it so you can be more productive and profitable with your time and behavior.
The two words Efficiency and Effectiveness are often used interchangeably. They don’t mean the same thing! In the words of Peter Drucker, “Efficiency is doing things right: Effectiveness is doing right things.” Effectiveness means working on things with a high payoff, while efficiency does not always have that same important result.
When I was growing up, just like you, I always heard the old adage, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” Now for us, as business owners, maybe we should review this old programming. As a matter of fact, if we look objectively at this old belief, we might observe that many of the things we are doing are not worth doing at all, much less “doing right”. We might even think about some of the time drains in our life that we could consider simply doing only adequately. For example, have you ever been a few cents off in your check book balance? Unless you are in the Tax Business or run a professional bookkeeping business, it might be better to write it off as an adjustment instead of spending hours looking for the mistake. Or frankly, someone else should be doing your books for your review. As my dear friend Dan Kennedy says, sometimes good enough is good enough. Stop trying to make everything perfect. Get stuff done!
It is a more intelligent decision to concentrate on being effective in what you do and give your time and attention later to being efficient at it. You must determine what payoff areas in your work will increase your effectiveness by helping your select goals where the most potential profits and payoffs reward you.
Efficiency means doing the task or job right. Effectiveness is doing the RIGHT JOB RIGHT. It means selecting a task or job that is consistent with your goals and objectives and doing it right. What this really means is don’t do anything that doesn’t assist you with your ultimate objectives, goals, and PROFITS.
Almost anyone can learn or be trained to be efficient, but results and profitability-oriented people are more concerned with effectiveness and profits than with efficiency.
For example, many entrepreneurs spend all their time doing activities and consider themselves to be productive, but they’re spending their time doing insane things like color-coding their files and tabs in the filing cabinet. Where is the profit or productivity in that? It might look pretty but it certainly doesn’t bring money into the office. It’s a waste of time. That is what people in the corporate world do: they look and act busy but don’t really accomplish much because they aren’t held accountable. YOU have to be accountable if you want to eat well.
If you have busy work behaviors, you’re really just hiding from yourself. You are in a procrastination mode and not in an effectiveness or profit mode of behavior. When you catch yourself doing these types of things please understand that this is outside of integrity for your long-term purpose. You may even be unconscious of all the time you waste because you aren’t feeling confident about what you’re doing. Everyone tends to do busy work when they lack clarity of what is important.
Clear cut objectives are essential to effectiveness since they serve as a roadmap that directs you to the right job with minimum guesswork and confusion. All objectives must be specific, written, measurable, and realistic on your time schedule, and consistent with your existing goals.
Thanks for reading.
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