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Efficient vs Effective Time Use

There is a desire in all of us to be effective with our time. It is not always at the forefront of our minds, but we see it in statements like "that was a waste of time" or "will it be worth my time?" I could go on, but clearly there is a desire to be

effective and productive with ones time. In addition, we seek to streamline our

time with efficiencies like drive throughs, microwaves and two minute noodles. Can you tell I like food? We are constantly pushing for effective and efficient use of our time.

What happens we when realize this is not the best way to use our time?

I highly recommend reading "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. He highlights in habit 4 that time management has continued to evolve. Tucked in his book is a nugget of wisdom on how we should plan our time use.

With our time be efficient.

With people be effective.

People are not projects. Projects are projects. People are dynamic and need to be viewed differently than the next time slot on our calendar. Now we honor people with good use of time, but that is not the point. The point is we have all been in conversation with people and find that time seems to fly by. Was that a lack of efficiency? Maybe that is the wrong question. Ask instead, was that effective use of time? Was relationship deepened, was there learning, did trust increase, or simply put, was it effective?

This happens in marriage, parenting, leadership, prayer, and in all areas where people are involved...not just projects.

Maybe next time we feel frustrated with how a day went we can look back or plan ahead in a way that accounts for efficiency with our time and effectiveness with the people in our lives.


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