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Why Most People Focus on Efficiency but Forget About Effectiveness

Why Most People Focus on Efficiency but Forget About Effectiveness
Exercises, Productivity, Goal Setting, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 70 Ratings :::: Monday, August 29, 2016

There is a fundamental difference between efficiency and effectiveness. Most people focus on efficiency. How to get something done faster? How to get somewhere quick? How to achieve more in a given time? How to finish the day’s tasks and go home early? How to do little and get the most from it? How to do only 20% of the effort to get 80% of the results?

This is all good and important. However, it should not be at the expense of something much more important; effectiveness. This captures the idea that what you are doing is going to help you get closer to your goals. Effectiveness is purely personal since it is entirely based on your specific personal goals. In contrast, efficiency is universal—there is a way to do something faster and you can learn to do it too. Effectiveness is about how far you are from your goal and if what you are doing now is going to get you closer to that goal. Efficiency is about how fast you get there.

When it comes to time management, goal setting and productivity, most people tend to focus mainly on efficiency. What is an ideal time management system? What is a good calendar app? How can you do something faster? Where can you get training for it? In contrast, there seems to be very little focus on effectiveness; why are you doing what you are doing? Why should you be doing this rather than something else?

What is the point of getting somewhere faster when where you get to is not where you want to be? How important is it that you check where you are and where you are heading periodically rather than just constantly obsessing about how to get there faster?

If you look around, you will notice that many people are suffering from this misunderstanding and lack of awareness. People spend a huge amount of time getting a degree on a given topic only to realise it is not for them. In a big city, people rush back and forth to work day after day not thinking what this is all about and why they are in the rat race? People get into a job thinking that it is only temporary and end up staying there at pretty much the same level for thirty years and then feel unhappy that no one wants to employ them for anything else.

Hence, a reflection in this area can be quite an eye opener. It is important to learn how to be constantly aware of the distinction so that you don’t get carried away with efficiency at the expense of effectiveness.

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Mastering Delegation Skills

Mastering Delegation Skills
Exercises, Productivity, Delegation Skills, Management Skills

Article Rating:::: 9 Ratings :::: Monday, August 15, 2016

There is simply so much to do these days both professionally and personally. In order to move on to bigger and grander projects, there is eventually a need to delegate tasks. Delegation skill is fundamental in the professional growth of an individual. As you gain more experience and climb up the job ladder, it becomes increasingly important for you to delegate the details and grunt work to others and spend your time on management and high-level decision making.

Unfortunately, most people find delegation cumbersome or tedious. This is particularly the case with people who are not natural at asking others to do things for them or that they feel they want to remain in control.

There are, however, numerous benefits to delegations and also for people who are delegated too. These people get to contribute, prove themselves, work on something different and if the right tasks are delegated, grow and succeed in their professional lives.

Since there are so many parameters involved in making decisions on delegation, it is useful to approach this systematically. This exercise provides a structure that an individual can follow to see what tasks can be delegated, why they should be delegated and how.

This exercise is based on filling a detailed form and thinking about a variety of tasks both on a personal and professional level. As such it is best if the exercise is carried out individually rather than in a group. Have a group discussion afterwards once everyone has filled in their forms so that participants can learn from each other and get inspired.

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Do You Need X as Much as You Think You Do?

Do You Need X as Much as You Think You Do?
Exercises, Productivity, Motivation, Stress Management, Goal Setting

Article Rating:::: 15 Ratings :::: Monday, August 1, 2016

In today’s world, we seem to be constantly chasing something; a new job, a new house, more money, more time, new cloth, a new partner, a new car, a new gadget and on and on. This chase is becoming a major source of anxiety for many people. It is like you live in a world where you can have a lot, but you are not getting much. The problem is not with you though. The problem is that several significant trends in the past century have led to the explosion of content, products and experiences. The availably of all of this is of course great for society. It makes living richer and more rewarding but it also means that today’s people would feel that they are missing out on a lot; in fact, more so than any other people in history simply because we have a lot more available to use.

As such, to reduce any potential anxiety that arises as a result of all this abundance and our inability to have it all, we must consciously practice being content and appreciative. By being content we focus on what we desire the most and take pleasure in having it. By being appreciative we focus on what we already have and feel happy about our good fortunes.

Many techniques exist for practicing being appreciative or content. Here is an exercise that help you in this regard. The questions can be answered individually and with as much time as necessary. The following instructions are provided as a guide in case you want to use the exercise during a training course and then follow it with a general discussion.

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Evaluate Your Yesterday

Evaluate Your Yesterday
Exercises, Productivity, Goal Setting, Appraisal

Article Rating:::: 7 Ratings :::: Monday, July 18, 2016

This is a powerful exercise that helps delegates see if they have been efficient as far as their own goals and ambitions are concerned. Sometimes, people need a reminder that they could be getting carried away chasing unimportant tasks and errands at the expense of those that matter more. This exercise elegantly highlights this and can lead to some deep reflection on where people are in life and why they do what they do.

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Time Management Exercise: Identify Time Wasters

Time Management Exercise: Identify Time Wasters
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Productivity, Decision Making, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 19 Ratings :::: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

This exercise encourages delegates to think about workplace issues that could potentially reduce their productivity. It is an ideal exercise for delegates who work together as a team and aim to increase their team productivity. This exercise is simple in nature as it encourages people to think of the most important productivity issues from their own specific view. The power comes from habitual use of this exercise when productivity issues are addressed regularly, collectively and something is done about them.

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Top 5 Time Management Guidelines on Avoiding Procrastination and Increasing Productivity

Top 5 Time Management Guidelines on Avoiding Procrastination and Increasing Productivity
Training Articles, Productivity, Motivation, Goal Setting, Planning

Article Rating:::: 140 Ratings :::: Monday, September 17, 2012

We all tend to procrastinate when it comes to certain tasks. Procrastination is about leaving a task for a later time and instead focusing on something less important. Sometimes, you may not feel like doing something because you think it takes a long time to do it properly. You therefore put the task aside for a more suitable time later on. In chronic procrastination, that suitable time may never come!

As part of an effective time management system, you need to consider strategies in overcoming procrastination. To tackle this, you can apply tertiary prevention on procrastination. Using a variety of techniques to streamline your workflow and using carefully planned shortcuts can help you avoid behaviours that are known to add to the likelihood of procrastination. Here, you will learn about a number of strategies on task management and prioritisation.

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Praise Everyone Everywhere All the Time

Praise Everyone Everywhere All the Time
Training Articles, Coaching, Productivity, Motivation, Giving Feedback

Article Rating:::: 31 Ratings :::: Monday, March 19, 2012

When was the last time you praised someone? If you have to think to answer this question, then you are not doing enough. People are extremely praise-deprived. They long for praise from anyone all the time. We never seem to get enough praise.

This article explores what stops us from praising others and provides a number of techniques that act as a reminder to praise others and therefore systematically improve their performances. These techniques are ideal for those in management roles who can significantly benefit from the positive effects of praise both for themselves and for their organisations.

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Time Management Exercise: Monitor Your Perfectionism

Time Management Exercise: Monitor Your Perfectionism
Exercises, Productivity, Large Group, Goal Setting, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 60 Ratings :::: Monday, February 20, 2012

This is a quick exercise that helps illustrate that we don’t need to be perfect all the time. Aiming for perfection can cost a lot of time and is often counter-productive. Research shows that majority of people who suffer from bad time management are perfectionist and their tendencies to produce everything at an unrealistically high-level of quality lead them to have a substandard quality of life and overall performance.

This exercise can help people understand that sometimes aiming for just a bit lower quality will still get them as far but can help them save a significant amount of time.

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Why Are We Afraid of Delegating and What Can We Do About it

Why Are We Afraid of Delegating and What Can We Do About it
Training Articles, Productivity, Planning, Delegation Skills, Resource Management

Article Rating:::: 26 Ratings :::: Monday, August 29, 2011

People are afraid of delegation. It is epidemic! Ask your colleagues how good they are in delegation and you are bound to hear something similar to these:

  • “I am terrible at it”
  • “I like to be better”
  • “I wish I could do more”
  • “I never feel comfortable when I delegate to someone”
  • “I don’t have anyone to delegate to”
  • “They can never do a good job”

If this sounds familiar, then read on as this article explores our fears of delegation and suggests a few simple productivity techniques that can improve your delegation skills.

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Problem Solving Exercise: Solve Problems Under Pressure and Stress

Problem Solving Exercise: Solve Problems Under Pressure and Stress
Exercises, Team Building, Productivity, Stress Management, Attention and Focus, Change Management

Article Rating:::: 58 Ratings :::: Monday, June 6, 2011

This exercise helps delegates to understand the importance of several key principles, such as “Parkinson’s Law” as well as managing their performance in the face of change or increasingly challenging environments. It is also useful for teamwork, decision making, leadership and creativity. You can use this exercise to teach “Parkinson’s Law” in a time management course.

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