How to be Efficient and Effective
Do you feel that your life is in
chaos, that everything you try to do takes such much effort?
You want to be organised, but you
haven't got any spare time to clear up the mess so that you can be.
Do you wish that you could be more
efficient and effective in your daily life and have some free time to
enjoy what you really love doing?
Well, let me illustrate with a simple
story just how little effort is required to be efficient and effective
- it only requires a different approach.
"Invasion of the Black Mould!"
Julie was really happy with her
new bathroom, she loved the colours and the feel of it and enjoyed taking
a long hot shower to refresh her body and mind, ready for a new day.
Then one day she noticed it in a
corner, just a speck on the shower curtain, but it gradually got bigger
- black spots invading her lovely sanctuary.
She took the curtain down, washed
it on the hottest wash that the fabric would allow and still there,
lurking, was the trace of a stain where the mould had been. Oh, well
it was no longer perfect but she hung it back up anyway. It didn't take
too much longer before the mould came back again and this time she tried
soaking it in bleach first before the wash.
This was the pattern, every wash
day the curtain got a soak in bleach and washed, until eventually it
was looking so faded and worn it was thrown out and replaced with a
So with the new shower curtain in
place, Julie once again enjoyed her shower and no black mould! But for
how long? She thought about what she could do differently to prevent
the black mould growing in the first place. Then the idea came.
"I'll draw the shower curtain across
so it is spread out, instead of scrunched in the corner as I used to
do. Then it will dry out quickly and mould won't have a place to grow!".
So by ONE SECOND'S worth of effort
every time she had a shower, she saved extra washings and pre-soaking
in bleach. Not only did this free up more of her valuable time, she
spent less money on bleach, washing detergents and replacement shower
curtains and she also poured less chemicals down the drain to pollute
EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE means thinking
about your actions, understanding the consequences and modifying your
approach if you want a different outcome.
3 ways to kick start being more efficient and effective.
more easy to be efficient and effective if everything has a place and
everything is in it's place.
So start with the area of most clutter
- garage, spare bedroom, wherever things get "dumped temporarily".
You can either spend a whole lot of energy at one go and clear out rubbish,
build more cupboards, sort and file things. Or you can do it one step
at a time.
Get some boxes or appropriate containers
and label them. Such as "hand tools", "nails", "stationery",
"photos", "things I don't want to throw out but haven't
found a use for yet", whatever categories are relevant.
Whenever you have something to "put
away" you have a labelled container in which to put it. Every time
you go in that room for something, whatever you pick up can go in it's
relevant box. It's an ongoing process and gradually you'll find that
the contents of the room move into labelled boxes, making it easier
and easier to find things as you will start searching the relevant box
first before attacking the remaining "heap".
The reward for this effort is less
time spent hunting for things and less frustration. You might even have
time to build more cupboard space for the contents of the boxes!
your repeating patterns, look for better solutions
If you find that you are spending
a lot of time, regularly on a particular task, sit down and think about
why. Work your way back to the root cause of the problem. Like the shower
curtain example, getting back to the basic problem helped find a better
solution. So there may be a better solution to your own "problems
Make sure that you go as far back
as you possibly can go and even elect a friend to help you. The very
process of repeating it to someone else often highlights an answer that
hadn't been thought of before.
put off what can be done today
An old phrase, but extremely true.
Handle it once. Whether this is the incoming mail, a job to do or a
communication. Putting it down to do later means it has time and energy
applied to it more than once. Time and energy that can be used for more
So now you are efficient and effective,
you can think about what to do in your leisure time!
(J Hargreaves - 28th August 2002)
How to be Efficient and Effective - article from Hark.net.au