Personal Efficiency in The Multi-faceted Environment
Personal efficiency belongs to the category of soft skills that are now coming to the forefront in the job market. This skill is also essential for entrepreneurs and business owners. I for one run 26 companies in 19 countries worldwide, read, and travel the world, while still having the time to relax. I live my life to the fullest because I was able to maximize my personal efficiency and productivity. In this article, I am going to look into the essence of personal efficiency and the reasons why it is critical when it comes to career and business.
Personal efficiency: To be or not to be successful
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that soft skills play an instrumental role when looking for skilled professionals. As a matter of fact, this has been among the key discussion topics at the World Economic Forum in Davos for several years now. This rearrangement of priorities is driven by at least three factors. Here are they.
50% of tasks in the years ahead are expected to be tackled by computerized systems. We are also seeing quantum leaps in the development of AI-based software. While earlier you could easily tell the ad generated by such an artificial “copywriter” from the text written by a human being, now they have developed an effortless writing style that resembles what a person would typically create.
Knowledge deterioration. This is also caused by technological advances. Modern-day university graduates may go out into the big world with a wealth of already outdated knowledge, especially if they didn’t study in the top educational institutions. That’s why soft skills, along with self-learning abilities or the pace at which you absorb information, take the center stage.
Competition in the labor market. Take a minute to recall the interviews you once had. You put your best foot forward to create a good first impression on headhunters not only with your proven track record but also strong communication skills. Indeed, it is hard to tell how skilled and well-trained you are just based on the way you carry yourself in the interview. This is something that will come to light during the actual work. However, a well-articulated self-presentation gives recruiters an insight into what kind of person you are.
Soft skills are skills associated with your personality, e.g. trainability, communication, teamwork, the ability to resolve conflicts, a sense of responsibility, etc. Personal efficiency is on the same list as well.
What does personal efficiency boil down to in simple terms? It’s about being able to get everything done, and by “everything,” I don’t mean just tackling your work-related tasks. This also implies having time for your loved ones and yourself. To put it in crude terms, our life consists of several areas: career, family, yourself, and downtime to relax and unwind. If one of them turns sour, life no longer feels exciting and full.
Personal efficiency is instrumental to your success because it’s about being able to multitask and keep up with everything. This is absolutely essential. You may complete all business tasks on time yet have no energy left for your family and yourself. This can easily cause health problems and lead to relationship issues. When you have constant arguments and fights at home, this obviously backfires on your work. By the same token, we often take our failures and work stress home with us which, in turn, affects our loved ones.
For these reasons, it’s important to improve your personal efficiency and strike the right balance. How do you do that? Let’s look into it together.
Step 1. Personal efficiency: Analyze yourself
Analyze what you spend your time on. Develop a daily habit of writing down what you did and how much time you spent on it. As practice shows, browsing the web, gaming, and checking social media for purposes other than work are the biggest time wasters.
Now make a list of all the things you do not have enough time for. These could be sports, studying, reading, watching webinars, taking courses, etc. Add what would help you grow professionally and evolve as a person to this list.
Step 2. Priorities and focus
In an attempt to seize the unseizable, a lot of people chase not two but at least five rabbits. This is way too much to have on your plate. A person can remain focused on three tasks simultaneously as long as they actually wish to get things done in a quality manner and not just to tick the box. So, I recommend that you choose several objectives. That said, make sure to set goals that do not contradict each other. Let’s imagine that you are a professional website developer and also create brilliant ad campaigns. At the end of the day, you will have to choose just one thing because otherwise, you won’t be able to make a solid career in either of these areas since you will spread yourself thin. Meanwhile, becoming a professional webmaster, learning English, and running a marathon are the goals that go well together.
Step 3. Small steps to achieve a big goal
Now that you have gotten your priorities straight, it’s time to create a roadmap for your goal. Why is it important? That’s how you will distribute tasks for yourself given how much time you have and what your capabilities are. Only you know how many English words you can learn in the 30 minutes you have allocated for this, what your current state of health is, and what your benchmark should be when starting to get prepped for the marathon. Only you know what hard and soft skills you lack to become an absolute pro at what you do.
Step 4: Discipline and motivation
I know many people who created a perfect plan yet failed to stick to it after three days. When the deadline is right around the corner, they turn into regular students burning the midnight oil in an attempt to study Chinese the night before the exam. You need to understand that everything you do in your life, you do for yourself. It’s not about being selfish or self-centered. It is about evolving and improving yourself. You work out in order to be healthy and fit. You work to provide a decent life for yourself and your loved ones. The list goes on. So, if you have no intention to perfect yourself, or make yourself more competitive in the job market, nobody and nothing can make you do that. You must know what you need, why you need it, and what you are willing to do to make it happen. When you are motivated, discipline will follow. Meanwhile, laziness is nothing but a simple lack of motivation.
It is worth mentioning that the daily routine is a very helpful tool when getting started. Try to imagine what your perfect day looks like, where work, studies, and rest are all well-balanced. If you take courses, you don’t have to squeeze them all in one day. Make sure you manage your time so that you have room for other no less important things and activities.
Step 5. Right mindset
The first 4 steps will be futile unless you approach them with the right mindset. “It won’t work”, “I’m not that smart”, “Why would I even need it in the first place anyway?” and similar self-sabotaging thoughts set you up for failure and eventually force you to give up. So, make sure to avoid them at all costs. Instead, try nurturing positive affirmations and turn them into actions.
Believing in yourself is essential when it comes to personal efficiency. Otherwise, you’ll get nowhere.
What can I do if I feel too lazy to do something?
As I’ve already mentioned, laziness is a lack of motivation. You may understand why this goal is important yet it still doesn’t fully resonate with you. To be able to fix that, you need to change your motivation. Let’s say you couldn’t be bothered to study English even though you need it for your work. In this case, try changing your perspective on this task—do it for leisure trips, instead. After all, going overseas without being able to speak English makes things much harder. Learn the language to read the book you wanted but couldn’t because it hasn’t been translated yet.
As you can see, you don’t necessarily have to change the goal itself. All you need is to change your motivation for it. Find something that makes you genuinely excited.
The second rule of thumb is this: feeling lazy is normal. You don’t have to beat yourself up for spending one day chilling on the couch instead of studying. There is nothing wrong or shameful about this. Perhaps it’s not even laziness but rather your body’s way of telling you that it could use a bit of downtime to recharge. That said, don’t turn this into an everyday thing.
Now, if you don’t have a goal that drives you, you may just haven’t found what you genuinely want yet. Take a sabbatical, change the scenery, and look at the situation with fresh eyes. This helps to gain a new perspective on things and understand yourself better.
Let’s sum things up. Personal efficiency is the ability to effectively juggle between work, family, and leisure while managing to get everything done and actually enjoying life without feeling constantly burnt out. To boost your personal efficiency, you have to:
Identify what eats up your time.
- Get your priorities straight and focus on them.
- Move towards your goal step by step.
- Keep your eyes on the goal by staying motivated and disciplined.
- Break the negative thinking loop.
And if laziness still gets in the way, try to either change your motivation or find a goal that fuels you. What may also help is getting quality downtime to be able to take a fresh look at yourself, the situation at hand, and yourself in it.