Efficiency Or Effectiveness: Which is more important?

Zaid Khan

3 mins

Let's start with a simple question.

What's more important, doing things right or doing the right things?

Well, one of them points towards being more efficient and the other towards being more effective.

Coming back to the question, the ideal answer would be, well, both. There is nothing better than doing the most important things right. However, only a tiny minority of us are programmed that way, and we need to realize which of the two brings about better results for our organization or even in our day-to-day lives.

Think about any goal that you have your eyes set on - whether it's making a design, creating a piece of software, or even cooking; all of these goals can be broken down into various tasks that need to be done for you to achieve it. Some of these tasks have a higher priority than the others, and ones higher up on the priority list need to be done better to produce a much better outcome.

Very put - Efficiency is doing things faster, with greater ease, and with less effort. Effectiveness is about producing an outcome, and at the end of the in any business or even in life in general, it's good to do more. However, it's utterly pointless if the outcome isn't what you want it to be or what it should be.

For example, It is efficient to send an email. The effectiveness of which can only be measured by the outcome, the action, or the response of the party that receives it. If you seek energy, then a different medium for that message might make for a better choice. Hence a more efficient person would send a much higher number of emails. However, an influential individual will get better conversions, and it's pretty obvious which of the two would be a more significant win for the business.

"Too Busy" is the most significant sign of ineffective efficiency.

If you are "too busy" and are frustrated by it, notice what this means.

Busy, unsatisfied people are efficient machines, credit them for that, but they still get poor outcomes in life because they're efficient with the wrong things or tasks. Certain things make you "feel alive" just by thinking about them, and other things that don't necessarily light a spark in you in that way but bring results that make you feel alive. For example, you can be extremely passionate about painting, and thinking about it excites you. You might not feel the same about the act of exercise, but feel that way about the exercise results. These are two types of practical tasks. They both matter to you, but for different reasons.

As businesses and startups are becoming leaner and leaner these days and moving to more modern cross-functional setups as opposed to traditional silos, the need for highly effective talent is on the rise. Since we already have many machines and artificial intelligence to do more work for us, the condition of the hour is that of intelligent people who can make the right decisions and execute them to near perfection in highly complex environments. It's great to have an enormous capacity to do work but never at the cost of sub-par outcomes.

In your search for efficiency, identify the prioritization of your activities, and within such prioritization, reassess not just your efficiency but your effectiveness. Efficiency without effectiveness provides zero results.

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