RAB Insights

RAB Research Archive

Efficient vs. effective

In discussing time management, some people would argue that, "We need to be more efficient with our time!" Other people would claim, "Let's not worry so much about efficiency; let's be more effective!" (Of course, there are always the ones who yawn and say, "It's just a matter of semantics, when do we eat?”). Efficiency means doing things right. Effectiveness means doing the right things. Working efficiently is doing things with the least amount of wasted effort. Efficiency gets you from point A to point B via a straight line. Inefficiency goes in circles, zigzags, and gets fewer mpg. Effectiveness means doing the things that yield results. Many people, when learning about time management, ask the question, "Which should I work on first, efficiency or effectiveness?" In theory and practice, the best answer is to improve your effectiveness first. For instance, effective selling will get you sales and give you time to work on efficiency. It's much better to aim your sights at the result than to worry about the process. Too often we get bogged down in the means and lose sight of the end.

Sales consultant/author Dr. Tony Alessandra