Efficiency and quality involve doing things quickly and doing them well. These are big pieces of your “success puzzle,” of course, as it’s important to provide quality and operate efficiently. Too often, however, our attention to efficiency, and even to quality when focused on areas not vital to the business, may be at the detriment of effectiveness.
Effectiveness involves doing the right things, not just doing things right. When you’re being effective, your efforts and achievements align with your goals. Your efforts generate the impact you need and desire. Effectiveness relates to how important and useful your efforts and achievements are for attaining the results you seek.
Below are some insights to help you focus on your effectiveness as you assess the past year and look forward to 2015.
Where are you and your team investing your time?
Look back on the past year and assess where you and your team invested most of your time. Take a look at the questions below. Focus on yourself first and then apply the same questions to your team as a whole.
- What activities and responsibilities took up most of your time?
- How effective and impactful were you when your time was invested in these areas?
- What important areas did not receive enough of your attention?
Where would you have liked to invest more time?
Did you focus your time and attention on the right areas – on the important activities that are critical for success? If so, that’s great! If not, where do you need to be investing more of your time, or the time of others, and what’s necessary to make that happen? Consider the organization’s goals, your own individual goals and the goals of your team members, and think about the following questions:
- What are your strengths and where are you most effective?
- What are the things that only you can do?
- What are you spending time on that someone else could handle?
- What activities or accomplishments over the past year didn’t entirely align with the organizations goals?
- Your time and efforts are most useful and impactful when you are doing _________.
What’s your plan for next year?
How can you be more effective with your time? How can you ensure you’re doing the right things and investing your time in the right areas of your business? The first step is to assess how you’re investing your time now. Next, think about what causes you to spend your time as you do currently. Are you doing some things just because you’ve always done them, even though other people could now handle those responsibilities? Are there things you can delegate? If you could free up some of your time, how would you use that time better to achieve desired results? Now that you know where you want to invest your time, also think about what might stop you from doing that. What obstacles might be in the way? Are there things that should no longer be done at all? Should responsibilities between team members be shuffled around a bit? Do you need to hire new or more employees? Do you need to outsource certain responsibilities? Only you can answer these questions, but it’s a good idea to consult with others to help you figure out what is most important! What’s your plan to be more effective with your time?