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How Effective Are You Really Being

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highefficiency.jpgFirst off, let’s throw the 80-20 rule out the window!

Many studies have been written about the importance of using your time efficiently.  We all know it.  We all know what it feels like to be exhausted at the end of day, and in hindsight, feel like we didn’t accomplish anything.  Ever have one of those days?

I vote we throw the 80-20 rule out the window and crush it.  It’s aspirational at best.  You know, the Pareto Principle.  As I browse Google for a definition I find the following; “…helps you manage those things that really make a difference to your results.”  The key word, “results”. There are good results, ok results, impressive results…  I think I speak for most when I say we want amazing results.  Amazing results are not achieved merely by checking off tasks.  It feels good, but what did you accomplish?

I think the best use of anyone’s time is spent striving to be effective.  If you’re like me and can’t live your life out of a list with the three most important things at the top, than read on.  If that is how you are and you can be effective, then no offense, I’m impressed.

I measure my day by how effective I was at every turn:

Did I look into my Daughters eyes when she talked to me this morning, or did I continue to glance at the computer?  If the latter, ineffective.

Did I take over the meeting or allow others to contribute, come up with ideas and solve problems?  If the latter, effective.

Did I create the PowerPoint just before the meeting, or did I create a meaningful experience for the team by being prepared?  If not prepared, ineffective.

There are dozens if not hundreds of times a day you can choose to be effective.  Two of the three on my top 5 list may not be done yet, but if I can say that today I was truly effective, than for that day, my list is complete.

How are you effective?

Photo by: mag3737

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  • Phil Dunseath

    You are right that lists are good but sometimes when I am ploughing through the tasks I just have to stop, grab 5 mins fresh air and re-focus.
    Just having that break helps me be more productive and for me often generates more ideas to jot down and re-visit later.