Avoiding Both the ‘Busyness’ & ‘Efficiency’ Traps

Let’s take a quick look into some of the variables we face, in learning how to be better managers of our time. The first point to address is that of being effective versus being efficient, something that many of us most likely get confused between.

Effectiveness: Doing the right tasks in order to complete activities and achieve your goals.

Efficiency: Doing things in the most optimal way possible, whether they be right or wrong.

So we can say that being effective is about doing the right things, whilst being efficient is about doing things right.

By being able to identify these key differences, we can understand how sometimes it can be easy for us to become bogged-down and being kept busy, trying to do everything right. This scenario often leads to negative impacts on our sales targets, as we become ineffective, trying so hard to be efficient with our tasks.

Busyness vs Productivity

In business, it can be said that ‘time is money’, and as professionals, we are able to break down our day and ask ourselves, ‘how much of my day goes toward achieving my sales targets?’. If we are honest with ourselves, we can identify then, where we fall prey each day to the busyness trap.

“Decide what you are doing next, and then do it. Make good decisions about what’s next and you’ll thrive.” – Seth Godin
In order for us to steer clear of falling into this trap each day, we should first admit that prioritizing our tasks is key, and that multi-tasking is definitely not the right way to go. While we may appear to be efficient by juggling several tasks at once, in reality, all we really achieve by this is – appearing to be busy.

Studies have shown, that in contrast to popular belief, multitasking wastes on average of 20% to 40% more time, than when we focus on one task at a time. How can this be? Well, for starters, when we switch between tasks, our brains need to re-orient themselves to the goal at hand. Continually doing this, results in our attention not being fully engaged and focused on the objective set before us.

A Better Way to Reorient and Prioritise Our Day

A simple method we can all use is to employ the Eisenhower Time Management Quadrant, where we divide our tasks between the following 4 boxes:

  1. High Urgency, High Importance
  2. High Urgency, Low Importance
  3. High Importance, Low Urgency
  4. Low Importance, Low Urgency

By learning to identify our tasks by these 4 categories, we can methodically separate and prioritize our efforts each day. The result of this for us is ultimately mastering the business skill of self-management!

Whether we find ourselves working within large sales-teams in an office, or as independent consultants out in the field, this is a non-negotiable skill – essential for our success. If you would like to learn more or share your thoughts with us, please reach out to us at [email protected]