In life, we are always told to be “efficient”, to be “optimized”, and to “get more stuff done”.
We value being busy. Being lazy is seen as a sin.
Yet I think what we need to strive for is not “efficiency” — but “effectiveness.”
- To be “efficient” means to not waste unnecessary energy, and to get more things done.
- To be “effective” means to not waste unnecessary energy, but get the right things done.
Do we need to get “more” done in life? Or do we need to get the “right” things done in life?
I think we need to focus on effectiveness— to get the right things done.
Can you finish everything on your todo list?
No matter how many hours you have in the day, there is no way you can complete all the things in your todo list. The world is always crying out for your attention — via emails, text messages, and other forms of communication. There are always more things to do.
But we need to always focus on doing the 1 most important thing of the day, everyday.
What is that one most important thing for you?
What is the one most important thing for you?
To figure out how to be “effective” — it is to figure out what that one most important thing is for you.
If you’re an artist, that one thing is for you to create art.
If you’re a businessman, that one thing is for you to create wealth.
If you’re a family person, that one thing is for you to spend time with your family.
Effectiveness over efficiency
Let us be effective people, not efficient people.
Let us seek to do less in life, and less in our day-to-day. Let us learn how to focus on the few things which are important, and to do them effectively.
Let us always consider what our biggest talents are in life, and figure out ways how to exploit that. Let us figure out how to add more value to the lives of others, and to empower others and humanity to the best of our ability.
Avoid what is ineffective
What are things you do in your life which are not very effective? Things that you waste time and effort on, but don’t add much value or impact?
For me, I’ve found that much of social media for me as a blogger is not very effective. I can spend hours a day on social media, yet not create any new value or impact.
The way for me to be the most effective with my time, energy, and attention is to blog. To write. To create. The sharing part (social media) is just a small part. The creation is the #1 focus.
If you want to be a more effective businessperson, perhaps that means spending less time (or no time) with customers who won’t create value for you.
If you want to be a more effective parent, perhaps that means only doing things with your family which brings you closer together. Perhaps that means spending less money and time on presents, and more time for quality-interaction, dinners, and camping trips.
As a photographer, to be more “effective” might be to focus on what is truly important in your photography. Maybe that means spending less time on social media, and more time making new photos. Or perhaps printing your photos as prints, publishing a book, having an exhibition, or sharing your tips and advice about photography. Maybe to also spend more time working on your website portfolio, or editing down your photo projects and series.
Conclusion: Be effective, not efficient
To end this letter, try to retrain your mind and vocabulary. Switch the word “efficient” with “effective”.
Whenever you do anything in your life, ask yourself: “Is this the most effective thing to do?”
Create a big effect in your life — then the waves of your impact will reverberate with others.
Learn more: Life Lessons >