Effective vs Efficient. What’s the outstanding difference?

The two words “effective” and “efficient” have a good number of similarities and because of this fact, they are often commonly misused and misinterpreted by a lot of people daily and in application. After this episode, you will know when to use both and maybe, get cleared on why they were used in instances you stumbled upon in a book you read or in someone’s speech.

In simple words, being effective is about reaching or achieving the goal while being efficient is about finding the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to reach a goal.

Being effective is getting to your destination successfully without considering the time and equipment used. Being efficient is putting into consideration the best tools and time management strategy to be used to get to the destination. While it is possible to be effective and efficient at the same time, it is also possible to be effective without being efficient and vice versa.

A rather simple way of explaining the differences between the two would be to consider a scenario where you have a burned out light bulb in your house which will need replacement. You have to pick within an incandescent light bulb and a LED bulb. Either light bulbs would be effective in accomplishing the goal of providing you with light at night but the LED bulb would use less energy and therefore be the more efficient choice.

Now if the bulb was turned on the entire day, then you would be wasting energy. While the bulb is still performing the task of creating light in an efficient manner, it’s performing that task at the wrong time and therefore not effective.

In the business world, you can conclude that efficiency is important for profitability and by increasing efficiency, we save both time and money while on the other hand, effectiveness is important for growth.

Now that you have understood the outstanding difference between effective and efficient, it is best to shoot for being effective first before bringing in efficiency into practice. The process works with whatever you are trying to do. Do it effectively or focus on reaching the goal first. Test and repeat the activity to increase your efficiency in reaching the goal. Try it out, you won’t be disappointed.

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