|Effectiveness vs Efficiency|
By Dan Vis
December 09, 2019
Our featured class this month, Rocket Goals, is designed to help you develop a strategic life plan for the new year, that emphasizes effectiveness over efficiency. Both are important, but this week's memo outlines the important difference...
One of the biggest problems faced by modern believers is the time pressures of modern life. Many find it difficult to keep up with their day-to-day responsibilities, and throwing in time for regular study, prayer, church life, family, and ministry can seem impossible. Yet these are all important to a thriving Christian experience. How does one juggle it all?
There are two basic approaches to time management: one aimed at increasing efficiency, and the other at improving effectiveness. Both have their place--but one is definitely more important than the other.
What's The Difference?
The words "efficiency" and "effectiveness" are often tossed around without much thought as to their meaning, but they refer to entirely different things.
Efficiency is a measure of how well things get done. It generally measures how much is accomplished in relation to the cost in terms of time, money or effort required. To accomplish a task in 30 minutes rather than 40 means you are using your time more efficiently. Buying some product for $4 instead of $5, means you are using your money more efficiently.
Effectiveness, on the other hand, is an assessment of how well some action accomplishes important goals and priorities. It's not primarily a question of how long a task took, but whether that task furthered your objective. It's not primarily a question of how much something cost, but whether that purchase helped you reach your desired goal.
Time management gurus have summarized it this way: efficiency is doing things right, while effectiveness is doing the right thing!
Efficiency is easier to measure, because it does not require one to make any kind of value judgment. As a result, many time management solutions focus on improving efficiency. Efficiency experts offer tips for speeding through more emails. Processing more paper work. Knocking out more tasks. They attempt to squeeze more into every moment, dollar, action. The unspoken assumption is, our ability to get more done will somehow relieve our time pressures.
The problem is, it doesn't work. Efficiency can't really solve our time pressures. Why? Because there will always be more to do. No matter how efficiently we race around, we will never get everything done. An unbalanced effort to work harder and faster will only leave you exhausted, frustrated, and stressed--with no finish line in sight. What really gets squeezed, is you!
Effectiveness forces us to ask harder questions. What are my true goals and priorities? What's most important to do right now? How much is this task going to help me get there? Effectiveness can only be measured against clearly articulated objectives.
Rather than trying to squeeze more in, effectiveness seeks to trim more out. Through delegation, simplification, automation, and other processes, effectiveness calls you to focus on doing what is most important, first. It calls us to maximize the impact of our choices by saying no to everything of lesser value. Having the judgment to "approve things that are excellent" (Philippians 1:10That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.), rather than merely good, helps us to create margin in our life--making it possible to catch up on life at last. Our metric is not how much we do, but how much good our actions create. We give our time to what is most important.
The Bottom Line
Efficiency is important, as it can free up time for priority tasks. But the real focus of time management should be to concentrate on discerning God's will for our life, and then trimming out anything that interferes with that purpose. As we bring our actions into harmony with God's plans for us, we will find his yoke is easy, and his burden is light (Matthew 11:28-3028 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.). We will be able to retake control of our life, and experience the satisfaction of knowing we have invested the limited amount of time given to us, in what counts most.
As a believer, I urge you to put effectiveness first.
Take the Next Step
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What are your thoughts? Do you focus more on effectiveness or efficiency? What part does each play in good time management? Which is more important? Can you think of times you sacrificed one for the other?
|Posted by Laurie Wissink on 12/09/19|
|Delegate, simplify, automate, and just say "No." ☺ Focus on those things that are excellent. |
These are good tips! Thanks Dan!
|Posted by Musa Sibisi on 05/23/18|
|Dan true, I have learned to focus more on effectiveness. We need to do the right things,to focus on objectives. It is true that Fastmissions.com will help us reach our destination.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 05/18/18|
|Hi Musa Sibisi! Great to see you. True indeed, effectiveness beats efficiency!|
|Posted by Qing Ling on 04/21/18|
i agree with you Shanthi that it's about rest from fruitless labour.
Dan your comment about liking what Dan posted... can maybe be simplified like this:
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/19/18|
|Very interesting thought Shanthi! Have not heard it quite put that way before.|
|Posted by Shanthi Solomon on 04/19/18|
I have been meditating on the verses and learned that Jesus rest is not cessation from all labor but cessation from unnecessary or fruitless labor. He however promises to labor with us by taking our burden I Peter 5:7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. and sharing His light and easy yoke with us.
I really love the way you have explained it Dixie. Effectiveness will certainly improve if I were to carry out my labor with Christ by my side, guiding and teaching me every step of the way.
|Posted by Floride Leonce on 04/17/18|
|Yuu’re right, Dan. I, personally, have so much going on: family, church, work, school, etc. that I rarely think about effectiveness. I rather try to squeeze things here and there without realizing that I’m the one being squeezed instead, like you pointed out. From now, I will aim for effectiveness and will apply Matthew 18:29-3029 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. by laying it all at Jesus’ feet and asking God to make me discern His will and choose to work on what’s priority.|
Thank you so much, Dan!
|Posted by Dixie Mende on 04/17/18|
This is in response to getting your mind around Matthew 11:28-3028 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.. I decided to memorize Matthew 11:28-3028 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. for that is the only way it makes a total picture of what Jesus was saying to a predominantly agricultural understanding people. I was reminded by my farmer husband that maybe others today do not understand the farming concept of yoking two animals together. Here are just a few of the concepts. 1) Two animals, such as mules or oxen, yoked together could pull more of a burden than the total of the burdens each of them could pull alone. 2) An older experienced patient animal would be yoked with a younger inexperienced animal to teach it. 3) The younger animal would gain strength and endurance when working alongside of the older animal.
Now if you read Matthew 11:28-3028 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. it says, “(28) Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest (29) Take my yolk upon you ,and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest for your souls, (30) For my yolk is easy and my burden is light.” These verses are now telling me that if I walk side by side with Jesus I will learn from Him. He is also gentle and teaches me from where I am in understanding. The verses are also telling me that the connection between us is easy and it will not hurt me. They also say He has a light burden and He is willing to have my heavy burden distributed over to Him so I can have rest from my load when I daily walk by Him.
|Posted by Sally CH Lam on 04/16/18|
|You’ve hit the nail on the head, Dan! Focusing on effectiveness will be more in line with doing God’s will and Kingdom goals. Good insight into these two words!|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/16/18|
Thanks Joyce for sharing those questions. Great to hear you have accomplished so much. (Hopefully Rocket had some part in that). But even more glad to see you going deeper and asking these kinds of questions. I find myself wrestling sometimes with Matthew 11:28-3028 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.. Something has to get rewired in my own brain in terms of those verses.
Love your examples Dan. I feel there's something there. Like you said, I can't directly match it up with these two words, but there seems to be some profound link involved just out of reach...
And thanks for the vote about the comments! I think it's growing on me...
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/16/18|
|Nice summary Margaret of the distinction between the two: squeezing more in verse trimming more out. That's a quotable! :)|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/16/18|
|This is our first time to post (repost) a blog with the new comments on the top and the old comments on the bottom. Let me know what you think--along with your note about the topic of course! :)|
|Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 04/16/18|
|This is a good message. I believe that this is what Christ was teaching to Martha when she complained to Him that her sister was not helping. Luke 10:41-4241 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.. Martha was efficient but Mary was effective. The Lord confirms this point. I have often been very efficient and recall that I still felt overwhelmed, harried and incomplete. This thought helps me to stop to ask the right questions before going full speed ahead.|
(There are about three posts with my picture and name that are not mine.)
Valerie Wise Burrell
|Posted by Olu Osibo on 04/29/17|
|Just woke up, and was inspired to check in, and this came up Amazing content|
|Posted by Jacqueline on 04/24/17|
|No internet at home will need to go to the library for internet. I am looking to life focus.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/23/17|
|A little over one week Jackie! Can't wait to release the Life Focus System to get here. Here's more info for anyone who wants to check it out.|
|Posted by Jacqueline on 04/22/17|
|Need to improve on time management and focus on what God wants for my life. Help each one of us to figure it all out.|
|Posted by Valerie de Fluiter on 04/17/17|
|Very much appreciated this insight. I want to spend my time being effective in God's cause not just dizzily spinning around my to do list and checking off boxes. |
|Posted by Rhonda D Coleman on 04/17/17|
|Pastor, thank you for this post. Time management impacts every area of our lives, and we need God's guidance to know how to prioritize even the so-called "good things" we do from day to day.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/17/17|
Nice post Ann! I think part of the wisdom we gain as we get older is right along these lines. Reminds me of Psalms 90:12So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom..
Great insight Musa Sibisi about quality vs quantity. It's another way of looking at the same coin. Both are important, but in most situations quality has to come first.
Glad this was a blessing, Wendelina. Praise God for how he redeems the time, and is able to use us mightily at any point in our life. :)
|Posted by Musa Sibisi on 04/17/17|
|Effectiveness deals with quality; efficiency deals with quantity.|
Is our training effective enough to produce the desired results. Are we using our time efficient to complete given tasks
|Posted by Ajay Nenavathu on 04/17/17|
|Thank you for this good explanation of Effectiveness and Efficiency.. the key is go be efficient at being effective in obtaining our goals. Looking forward to next months challenge.|
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