Getting older and getting wiser!

Getting older and getting wiser!

At the end of the year I take time for reflection, introspection, and retooling; an activity that I highly recommend. The question I often ask myself as I reflect is how can I become more effective and efficient.  For the sake of clarity, I define effectiveness as the ability to deliver desired results.  Effectiveness means that we have to know what we are trying to deliver and that what we are delivering matches the need when it’s delivered. Being “effective” is more complicated than just doing what you were asked to do because that might not be what is needed when you get the end of a piece of work.  Being effective requires efficient execution and carefully listening to feedback.  Efficiency is a far simpler topic.  Efficiency is doing useful work with least amount of energy.  For knowledge workers, the most significant input into the efficiency is their time. A few evenings ago as my wife and I talked over a glass of wine, cider and a few tacos (it was taco night) about plans for the new year, she chided me on wanting to write more columns and extend the podcast franchise.  As Kevin Kruse (SPaMCAST 398) says there are only 1,440 minutes in a day and without a time machine it is nearly impossible to generate more.  Efficient and effective use of our minutes is more than an academic question, it is a matter directly tied to meeting our goals and feeling fulfilled. Over the years I have found nine improvement areas that commonly can be capitalized on at a personal level.  I will openly admit that each item on our list are areas that I strive to be better at almost on a daily basis. (more…)