Difference between efficiency and effectiveness - and what are you?

Efficiency is the foundation for survival;
Effectiveness is the foundation for success.

John C. Maxwell


Two weeks into January 2018 and I am busy mapping out the remaining of the year whilst preparing for my mini move to Bali this Thursday. 

This is an interesting question that I came across last March when I decided to be the CEO of my own life and take control of my life.

April 2017 was also the first month which I decided to operate 100% out of my own ABN (Australian Business Number, for the non-Aussies) - in another words, stop drawing a salary and started my life as a #girlboss 

Let me ask you - which of the following scenarios will provide a better outcome?

Someone who is very efficient but not effective. 
OR, someone who is inefficient but very effective.

The key thing to point out here is that saving time (efficient) is great but it's almost irrelevant if you are unclear on what you want to achieve and what is important to you (effectiveness)

So, let's dive into the difference between efficiency and effectiveness, shall we? 

What is the difference between efficiency and effectiveness


Efficiency - doing things right,
the HOW

Efficiency is about the execution and doing things right.  It starts with formulating a process and system that works FOR YOU.  The ultimate objective here is to reduce wasted time, energy, and money.

Effectiveness - doing the right things, the WHAT

Effectiveness is all about doing the right things at the right time.  Goal setting, planning and looking at the bigger picture all falls within effectiveness.  To be effective, you need to think “outside the box”.


Being clear on your goals will give you the drive and energy to execute. 

One of the key lessons I have learnt from my corporate career is - most companies place a strong focus on efficiency, not so much on effectiveness. Cost cutting and increase short term revenue is always a priority without placing serious consideration on the longer term effect (and high impact) such as customers churn rate and the need to rehire and retrain employees. 


On a more personal level, you can be extremely efficient and getting shit done everyday. but what if the actions or tasks completed are not in line with your goals and objectives? Even though you are "efficient", you are essentially "wasting" energy and resources as your actions aren't getting you closer to your goals. 


In short - in order to achieve the optimum outcome and be successful, you have to be both effective and efficient. First, effective; then, efficient. 

Personally - I need to work on being more effective as I am definitely more on the efficient side at the moment. 

So, are you more efficient or effective? 
If you've nailed both - share your tips in the comments below so I can share with the rest of the tribe! 

Adeline x