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What’s the difference between effective versus efficient? When I talk about “effective,” what I’m really talking about are are you doing the right things? Are you spending a lot of time on Facebook, Instagram, rather than working on your Five to Thrive?

What I’ve found is really going through your Five to Thrive, that’s mind, body, soul, relationships, and business, and knocking those things out first thing in the morning. Here I am, doing this Daily Growth Hack, and it’s 5:45 in the morning and I’ve already done some reading and I’m about to go to the gym. What I’m really focusing on is making sure my time is effective, and I’ve picked those key things that I need to be doing in each of my Five to Thrive to move the needle significantly.

For example, if you’re in sales, are you spending your time in your CRM rather than time with your clients? Are you spending time at work just answering emails all day? Really working on somebody else’s schedule and not on your own? Have you taken the time to figure out what the most effective use of your time is, rather than just wasting time throughout the day?

If you think about it, there are all kinds of ways that we waste time through the day. That’s checking email. That’s being on social media. Playing games, texting people. All kinds of disruptions go throughout the day, especially nowadays where you can get text messages directly onto your laptop or your computer. Oftentimes I see people that I work with … You’ll hear a ding and they’ll respond to a text message. Really that’s just not effective because it’s taking your mind out what you were doing. You lose your focus time.

I use an app called Rescue Time on my devices, and I’ll tell you what, it really blew my mind the first time I used it to see how much I was using certain apps on my phone as well as certain aspects of computers or websites that I was visiting that I just wasn’t conscious of how much actual time I was doing it or spending on those sites.

Think of the Pareto’s Principle. You get 80% of the results from 20% of your outputs. The key is to pick out which of that 20 % and really be effective in those areas. This is why we have the Five to Thrive. You pick one to two things in each of your five categories. Again, that’s mind, body, soul, relationships, and business, and then make sure you’re significantly moving the needle in a holistic way.

Make sure you ask yourself today where in your Five to Thrive are you being effective and doing the right things?

This is something I got from Greg Swanson’s podcast. I highly recommend you go over there in iTunes and look it up. He’s got some great information and check him out. Again, I do my daily learnings in the morning so I can make sure I’m being effective and moving the needle each and every day.

Let’s talk about efficiency. Efficiency is totally different. Efficiency says are you doing those effective things, are you doing them effectively? Are you doing them in the right manner? An analogy would be I’m off to the gym here in a couple minutes. If I go to the gym, it’s easy for me just to get there.

Actually, it’s hard for me to get there and just walk on the treadmill and not do anything. I see this all the time. I walk in through the athletic club that I belong to, and I see people just really slowly walking on the treadmill. Maybe they’re waking up in the morning, but they’re watching the news, catching up. The interesting thing is I’m there for about an hour, and when I leave it’s the same people going the same speed on the same treadmill. These are healthy individuals. They don’t have anything that is stopping them, but really they’re not being efficient with their time. They’re not really being efficient with what they’re doing.

What I want to ask you, or what I want you to ask yourself is when you sit down to do a task, it could be something at work. Maybe you go back to sales. You’re jumping into your CRM, or maybe you’re getting ready to call a client. Ask yourself why am I doing this? If the answer for you says it’s not helping you get closer to your actual vision, then stop it. Stop it immediately.

I run several businesses, and oftentimes I’ll sit down, I’ll have a list of things to do, and I’ll look at those and I’ll say, hey, first of all, are these things moving the needle significantly for me? If not, I stop. If they are, and I start working on something, I ask myself why am I doing this? What is the outcome I actually desire? If that outcome isn’t moving the needle for me, if it isn’t getting me more towards being the author of my own story, I cut it out. I stop it altogether.

See, all too often we start making to-do lists. We make these long lists of things that we think we need to get done without focusing on the actual outcome we want. At the end of the day, it’s the outcome that matters, not the tasks we do to get to that outcome.

I’ll use fitness one more time as an example. Let’s say you want to drop ten pounds of weight. You want to drop ten pounds of body fat. You’re getting ready for summer, whatever it may be. You have a list of things you do. You’re going to get up early in the morning. You’re going to go to the gym. You’re going to go running. You’re going to stretch. You’re going to foam roll. You’re going to eat the right things. You’re going to make sure your meals are precooked.

You can have all these things on this to-do list, and maybe you’ve signed up for a six-week boot camp. You sign up for your six-week boot camp. You’re excited. You’ve got everything ready to go. Along with that journey, if you lose those ten pounds, it doesn’t matter that you’ve checked off all the boxes of those things that you need to do in your health and wellness and your fitness. Of course, health is different. We’re talking about losing those ten pounds. Again, I’m talking about the outcome. The outcome is the most important objective.

What I want to ask you today are two things. In your Five to Thrive, where are you being effective? Where are you doing the right things, and where are you just wasting time? In those things, where are you doing them efficiently? Where do you need to fine tune them? Again, sit down, ask yourself why am I doing this, and again, if it’s not moving you closer to your vision to being the author of your own story, stop it right away and pick something that’s more effective for you.

That’s it for me today. I hope you have a fantastic day. Be sure to sign up to receive these daily growth hacks in your inbox every day! 

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