December 12, 2018

Stressed Out by Performance: Choose Efficiency Instead

Corporations and our so-called modern society put a lot of emphasis on productivity and performance. But fed-up out-of-breath individuals are questioning those values more and more.

The secret may be to lean towards efficiency instead. Efficiency doesn’t only focus on results but also considers effort and methodology.

By definition, being efficient is more than doing the right things (being effective), it’s doing things the right way.

In that sense, efficiency can take out some stress out of performance. To resume what we’re trying to expose here, being efficient means performing as well as possible with as little effort as possible.

Efficiency Can Make Life Easier

Efficiency can allow you to swiftly tackle on each of your tasks, using up less time and effort.

Because efficient people do things the proper way, they usually manage to achieve their assignments with minimal efforts and without undue delays. And since they use less time and effort, efficient beings also typically feel less pressure.

In that sense, adopting an efficient frame of mind can be a great way to relieve pressure and make everyone’s life easier.

Because being efficient gives you more time, it leaves you latitude to rest and relax more frequently. It’s also a lot less taxing. If you choose to, you could simply accomplish more. Ultimately, being efficient can help most people stay fresh, calm and relaxed. It often also can have a soothing effect on others.

By the way, the efficient mode isn’t necessarily sophisticated or complicated. Sometimes, you just have to get things done! Be careful about becoming too perfectionist like I used to be. Stumbling on every subtle detail is generally not that efficient.

The funny thing is that efficient more relaxed people will characteristically get more things done. Indirectly making them more productive, or if you prefer, more effective. In the same matter, efficient workplaces will produce better quality, generate less mistakes and help avoid unnecessary frustrations.

All in all, efficiency will naturally raise everyone’s level of energy in most instances.

Efficiency Preserves Resources

Speaking of energy, because efficiency allows you to do more with less, it can facilitate preserving resources and energy.

Efficiency can save typical resources like money, raw materials or supplies.

In a broader sense, it can also preserve energy in general or even sustain your level of energy. In relation to a very popular and actual subject, efficiency can even help protect the environment. Some environmental activists should cherish efficiency instead of relentlessly blaming capitalism.

Be proud to do things the correct way. Promote efficiency in your organisation as a means to preserve resources, to make the world a better place.

Furthermore, efficiency can allow you to save one of the most important resource, your precious time. Even though we often seem to forget, lost time can never be made up.

Efficient people usually make most of their time and avoid wasting it. Indirectly, maximizing their time benefits others as well.

The most devastating use of time is needlessly waiting for others or the same few ones that always have an excuse for being late or talk too much. Because they can quickly impact several people, meetings have to be thoroughly considered. In most organisations, meetings and related activities probably have the most potential for overall improvement and to reduce wasted time. Just consider the involved costs next time you are in a big meeting. For instance, take a few moments to estimate the combined hourly wage of all participants. You’ll find that time spent or even worse, wasted in meetings can add up and cost a lot fast.  

Among other things, efficient meetings start on time, proceed on time and end on time as they follow a tightly run agenda. Efficiently run meetings also have great impact after the fact and between each of their occurrences.

In the same matter, efficient collaborators greatly reduce time wasted on follow-ups. They usually avoid follow-up processes that seem to go on forever in ineffective yet quite common circles. The same way, efficient collaborators help get things done and improve the odds of respecting project schedules. All and all, the contribution of efficient people benefits everyone.

Yet even if you have many efficient people on your team, the most efficient avenue may not always be possible. Ultimately, you’ll still have to prioritize and make choices. The optimal choice should be made considering costs and available resources.

For instance, the expert on a specific subject may not be available or may simply be too expensive. In those circumstances, try to obtain the best possible results but consider toning down expectations.

We strongly believe that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. But in a similar fashion, you have to admit you won’t always be able to do everything yourself. Doing things by yourself may cost you time and often produce less optimal results.

Try to develop the means to analyse situations, to consider alternatives and finally, to make the best choices. You can refer to experts for specialized tasks or to acquire suitable techniques. In many ways, it may end up being less costly. With experience, you’ll learn to know your limits and judge when you need outside assistance.

Being efficient can be a great boost to your career as efficient people get solicitated more. Just be careful not to compensate too much for colleagues that are not. Try to teach them your techniques as opposed to doing all the hard work for them.

Focus on Improvement

Being an efficient person doesn’t mean you are always perfect. It’s more about having an open mind to constantly learn and improve to do things the right way.

In today’s highly competitive world, many feel pressures to be effective or efficient. You have to accept your flaws or the fact you are not perfect. Efficiency is not a given and you have to work to become better at it. Reality is that everyone has flaws and strengths.

So, you can choose and devote yourself to becoming more and more efficient. You also must accept others are not perfect and try to teach them to become more and more efficient.

Efficient leaders don’t impose or demand effectiveness out of their staff or collaborators. Often using subtle techniques, they rather cleverly show them how efficiency can free them. They show them the benefits of becoming efficient and how it can make their lives easier. Great leaders lead by example and possess the ability to mentor others into becoming more efficient.

It’s ok and human to make mistakes. It only becomes a problem when you never learn from your mistakes. When you repeat a mistake, you unnecessarily waste time. Furthermore, that same mistake probably will have an impact on others, also needlessly wasting some of their time and resources.

Most people will get frustrated if you only point out their mistakes. Instead, try to encourage them and teach them to focus on improving and becoming more efficient. For many, that approach will be quite liberating. Most people are willing to improve and get better. They probably won’t tell it or admit it but they are often just waiting for a helping hand.

An efficient improvement process will privilege actions that have the most impact, actions that improve things the most. The objective will not only be the get better results but also to get them with as little effort and resources as possible.

Remember that most of the time, there’s not only one way to accomplish things. It’s still acceptable if people have the freedom to do things their own way as long as it remains somewhat efficient, meaning it won’t take that much more resources like effort and/or time.

This may sound old school, but it’s always a good idea to stay focused on the task at hand. In a world of perpetual notifications or constant dinging, a major key to staying efficient is to concentrate on tackling a single task at a time, to do just that one right. Try to see it thru before going on to the next one.

It’s a better option than relentlessly juggling with multiple tasks, not having a clear-cut handle on any of them. Many people and especially the young generation are now used to multi-tasking but don’t realize how much it can negatively affect their efficiency.

Just dedicate yourself to your current task, il will be enough. In the long haul, it will also result in less mistakes.

In the same sense, every member of an organization should have a defined role and focus on it. You should do your job well and let your colleagues do their own. It’s ok to sometimes help others but always patching for weak links may not be the best idea. In fact, always compensating for your co-workers can be excruciating and exhausting in the long run. It could potentially drain out all your energy. In those related situations, leaders should make sure they put measures in place to fix potential structural or organizational problems.

On the other hand, encourage people who come up with clever ideas and techniques to share them with others (maybe not your arch-rivals). Less inspired individuals of your group can even reproduce those ingenious concepts to become more efficient.

Prepare and Practice Plans

In order to concentrate on execution and only implement minor adjustments along the way, when possible, efficient people use slower time to prepare and practice well thought out plans. It’s just like pro athletes who do it all the time. Because they prepare and practice a lot, they won’t feel as much pressure when it’s time for the real performance.

In many circumstances, having good plans is a must. For instance, going to Disney World is a lot of fun, but even that can become a nightmare if you don’t do it efficiently. Imagine waiting for hours in the sun on a hot humid Florida day, that may end up not being than amusing. Only managing to get on 3 rides on that dreadful day because you did not minimally put up a touring plan or reserve any Fast Pass won’t be that enjoyable either. Not planning can transform a fun exciting activity into a miserable stressful experience.

Plans don’t always have to be precise and elaborated but for your own pleasure, there’s a minimum you have to respect. This doesn’t mean you will never improvise, chill out and envoy the moment. It only means that to avoid needless stress, certain things have to be organized and considered before the actual experience.

In the same matter, work is often stressful and miserable for a lot of folks. But it can be transformed into a more enjoyable activity with some efficient planning than include preparation and some practice periods.

Use less busy periods or free time to analyse and improve your technique and methodology. Also use those calmer times for some testing and practice. It will improve your performance and experience under pressure when an actual rush comes around.

Planning ahead using a somewhat flexible plan and adapting with smaller changes along the way is much more efficient. It should leave you more peaceful and help you stay calmer. Only improvising and always impeding progress for major adjustments can be a drag and greatly increase your stress level.

For many, worry and stress are imposing enemies. Hence, they should be avoided or reduced as much as possible. You should still learn to cope with them because they sometimes are inevitable. Remember it’s possible to learn to stay clam and perform under pressure. Pacing yourself is also a good habit to have. With experience, you will know more about your limits. You can explore and expand them to learn your maximal possibilities. Only push and exceed your limits if necessary, during occasional rush episodes.

Use Balance to Sustain Long-Haul Success

Rely on balance to pace yourself and sustain your effort for a while. You’ll notice a balanced efficient effort can be sustained over a much longer period. In a sense, efficiency is a catalyst that can bring balance between performance and effort. Consequently, efficiency and balance can become a very successful and powerful mix.

For most people, being efficient or more efficient, allows them to seemingly keep up with some reasonable standard of performance and quality.

To make it easier, you could use an inventive approach like the 12-Minute Method that can help you pace yourself and accomplish as much as possible with as little effort as possible. In that sense, working hard and well, doing things right most of the time, will probably enable you, in the end, to sustain your effort and stay healthier. Everyone’s vital goal here should be, to try to work better to work less.

With the support of 12-Minute Approach, you can gradually improve and become more balanced and efficient.

Adopting that kind of efficient tactic can keep things more relaxed and smoother. Many will stop feeling like they are always chasing their tail.

If you stay efficient and balanced over lengthier periods, you will lose that awkward spinning sensation of relentlessly working for nothing. You will finally be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Be proud and cherish long-term deeds you will accomplish that way.

Furthermore, having balance in mind is an efficient way to allocate resources. As we eluted to above, resources are not unlimited and are not always accessible. Keeping balance between the resources you use can be quite efficient and can yield interesting results in the long run.

Again, you could directly think about usual commodities like time and money. But other aspects that may not immediately come to mind have to be considered like materials and human resources.

Make sure to treat your team as well as external contributors the proper way. An efficient recipe to do so often involves an important dose of respect but also a great deal of restraint and balance.  Try to avoid the common mistake to press out all of what they have to offer all at once. Undue pressure could only give you potential gains for a short while. When dealing with human beings, a considerate steady approach should prove to be much more efficient over longer periods.

Adopt an Efficient Frame of Mind

All things considered, efficiency can be a refreshing alternative that could get you away form the pressures of imposed performance.

Remember that with an efficient frame of mind, you should be able to complete your tasks with less effort and within less time. In the end, efficiency can provide a more pleasant way to obtain and maintain some level of performance. To some extent, being efficient can make performance less agonising and less painful.

Efficient people like to work hard but more importantly, work well so they can afford to play hard.

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