What’s More Important: Efficiency or Effectiveness?

Published September 27, 2013 2:09 pm by LoSasso

Victim of multi-tasking syndrome?

It’s often hard to find time to attend webinars and seminars, even though we understand the importance of ongoing education and professional development. Ironically, that reality makes a perfect case study for the topic of a webinar that I and some fellow “accounties” attended, titled New Leadership Skill for Account Managers.

Among the gross distractions in our daily efforts to be productive, constant email checking and multi-tasking are some of the biggest offenders. To emphasize his point, the presenter visually divided an account manager’s daily activities into four quadrants, defined by the level of urgency and importance. Our mentality, he said, is to act in response to others’ priorities, rather than our own. We respond to emails and calls instead of effectively blocking out our time to make true progress.

Contrary to its definition, multi-tasking—a skill that I (and many accounties) pride myself on—can negatively affect our efficiency. It’s the chronic ‘I’m in the middle of a hundred things but can’t get anything done’ syndrome. To overcome the multi-tasking gridlock, blocks of 90, uninterrupted minutes should be set aside for each task to make strong progress on that never-ending to-do list.

So my biggest note-to-self coming out of this webinar: keep making those lists, girl. Just do a better job of crossing things off instead of always adding to them. Block out time (in 90-minute increments) to make good progress on one thing at a time—apparently, there are no lives at stake and email can wait.

Jamie Goff, Account Manager