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I've discovered the secret of highly efficient and effective people

23 replies

nevertakethechillpill · 03/09/2020 11:01

They just really like doing stuff, like all the time. That's their preference, being busy. If you like doing stuff all the time then you are inevitably going to get a lot done whilst also having a life you enjoy, as you like getting stuff done. I have noticed this from observation of highly efficient, effective people. They are not miserably filling their time with productive occupation because they feel they should. They actually like it. I read a book about growth mindset but the thing that struck me most was that the 'growth' mindset people have just found something they love and so are prepared to work really, really hard at it, even when its tough.

That's my problem. The things I like doing are not deemed productive. I like bumming around the kids and people I like, I like reading stuff I find interesting. I like watching bees in the garden. These are my preferences. I like bouts of busyness, but can't maintain it as a constant lifestyle choice like effective, efficient people can.

This realisation is actually quite freeing. Both me and highly effective and efficient people are living lives doing the things we prefer to do. We just prefer different stuff.

OP posts:
BlackAmericanoNoSugar · 03/09/2020 11:05

That's so true. When I lived in Berlin I had a Swiss friend who packed a huge amount into her day. She worked at home but when she was visiting her DH in Berlin she was free all day, as was I, and we used to meet up and do something. So we'd plan something and she would have it down to the minute how long we'd do something and the go to do something else, then I'd remove at least 50% of the activities from our plans. Grin We both enjoyed it, she pushed me to do more than my lazy self would normally choose and I slowed her down so she had more time to appreciate the things we were doing. She had more time to smell the roses (literally sometimes as we both liked visiting gardens).

Iminaglasscaseofemotion · 03/09/2020 11:09

Yup completely agree. I'm generally quite a lazy person. I go through spells of being very energetic and packing loads into every day, and am quite productive at these times but I dount I will go any further working and earn the fortunes that I would like to, or be really organised all the time because I just can't maintain that lever of enthusiasm for things.

JKRsHandmaiden · 03/09/2020 11:16

I think you're right but although I'd say I fall into that category of being busy, I don't think I manage to be that efficient or effective.

I struggle massively to 'relax' and constantly think about and plan the next thing, the next thing, next thing. I like to plan well ahead and fill all my time with doing things and spend a LOT of time pushing my children and DH along.

I'm not massively efficient and effective in the above, possibly for a few reasons. I would welcome some ideas as to how to improve! I often find myself beating myself up about it.

nevertakethechillpill · 03/09/2020 11:17

Yes. I think I had imagined that efficient, effective people were forcing themselves to do things they didn't enjoy, for goal of being effective. But, from reflecting on people in real life, they actually just enjoy what they are doing. It's been quite the revelation.

OP posts:
nevertakethechillpill · 03/09/2020 11:20

See I am busy too, despite pissing about on Mnet at the moment, but I could be much more efficient, if I concentrated on getting on with the stuff that needed to do, but instead I get distracted by the things I want to do. So my to do list never ends. It just grows.

OP posts:
HelloMissus · 03/09/2020 11:21

I think of myself as efficient and effective - I have a successful career, have brought up a fair few kids and still foster.

But I do read and watch films and TV too. I’m not always on the go, IYSWIM.

LER83 · 03/09/2020 11:31

Yes I agree. I used to compare myself to a friend who had 6 children, loads of animals etc but had an immaculate house, was always decorating and out and about meeting up with people etc, whereas I struggled to stay on top of 3 kids and a small house. Then it dawned on me that she just liked being busy! She didn't enjoy sitting on her own with a cuppa scrolling on her phone, she wanted to be up doing things with people or changing things in her home, everyday, she didn't need down time. Whereas I get overwhelmed with things quite easily and need time just to sit quietly thinking!

vanillandhoney · 03/09/2020 11:33

I'm quite a lazy person but I'm efficient too - mainly so I can spend more time doing nothing Grin

Shinyletsbebadguys · 03/09/2020 11:42

Other than reading which I count as a productive use of time then I agree with you. I sort of realised as I got older that I wasn't lazy I just preferred to be productive doing what I wanted to do, if it was something I didn't want to do then I was a huge procrastinator. I suppose in fairness that's the same for anyone. It just was a lightbulb moment for me. Even the things I didn't like doing I started to reframe them and consider why I was doing it.

If it was something I disliked actually doing but liked and wanted the outcome then I focused on that and got it done. If it was something I felt that was an expectation of others I simply stopped doing it. In lockdown I surprised myself as I suppose it showed how much I had changed and was on the go in a happy way all the time.

To be honest I really think that doing what you want to do not expected to do is sort of the secret of life. (Fully prepared to be told I'm wrong but I'll still believe it ). Not just pleasing yourself that's not the same thing , I want my children to be happy and well balanced (mostly I mean I'm realistic I'm not parent of the year ) so I dont feel resentful about doing stuff all the time to help that , I want to progress my consultancy and writing so I am happy to work early or late. Doesn't mean I like the actual task sometimes but I rarely do anything that others expect me to do if it's just their expectations to be honest.

MrsJBaptiste · 03/09/2020 12:05

Yep, total agree!

DH and I barely sit still and will always ask what each other has planned for the day. If he (or I) said not much really, playing on my phone, reading, watch telly, we would both think that quite lazy and what a waste of a day. I don't have a problem if others choose to do this but I'd be sitting there thinking there must be something that needed doing...

JanetJones · 03/09/2020 12:08

This was a problem for me and my DH for ages. I am a busy person and he likes smelling the roses. It took me forever to accept that he's not lazy, he's just different to me!

SisyphusDad · 03/09/2020 12:28

vanillandhoney GrinGrinGrin

That reminded me of a story (part of a long Robert Heinlein SF novel) called 'The man who was too lazy to fail', or some such.

pinkbalconyrailing · 03/09/2020 12:33

I'm efficient because I am lazy.
I am constantly looking for an easier way out.

sotiredofthislonelylife · 03/09/2020 12:39

I would say that I like to be busy overall, but mainly I think it stems from bringing up my large family (5 DC’s/SDC’s) and working full time. I was very much aware that I needed to keep on top of everything - food shopping, cooking and laundry tasks were huge, and I have to have a clean and tidy home. If everything that had to be done each day wasn’t done, then the next day there would be double. I probably didn’t sit down until 10pm each evening, so ‘relaxation’ would have been a luxury. However, I chose that life, so pointless to complain. Now I am much much older, and live alone, I still sometimes find it hard to just do nothing. If there is some enjoyable thing I WANT to do, I make myself do everything that NEEDS doing first.

Madness 😂😂😂

JesusInTheCabbageVan · 03/09/2020 12:41

You can sort of replicate it by drinking two large glasses of wine and then several espressos.

Badbadbunny · 03/09/2020 12:42

There's an old saying that if you want something doing, ask the busiest person to do it.

Twatalert · 03/09/2020 12:57

I view myself as highly efficient (and come from a country with that reputation), but my secret to it is 'always have a plan for things that just need doing'. I do not like being busy at all and look forward to the end of my working day to just do nothing, but it is ingrained in my personality and thinking how I could do X in the most efficient and good quality way. I can't help it.

QuentinWinters · 03/09/2020 13:09

I'm efficient because I am lazy.
I am constantly looking for an easier way out.
Snap. Can't be arsed spending loads of unnecessary time on tasks when I could be doing more interesting things....

QuestionMarkNow · 03/09/2020 13:39

Being efficient and busy and two different things imo.

You can enjoy a life with plenty of Down time because you are extremely efficient. Whatever you are doing takes less time so you have more time for leisure etc...
You can be extremely busy because you are very inefficient so whatever you are doing takes you twice as much time than other people.

I agree about enjoying what you do making it more likely you will be sucessfuLl, because you keep at it. And you keep at it because you enjoy it though

BogRollBOGOF · 03/09/2020 13:47

My friend is a doer, it keeps the anxiety at bay because she efficiently plans, schedules and does.

I'm a faffer who can struggle with transitioning from one thing to another and getting going again.

TheMarzipanDildo · 03/09/2020 13:50

See I’m definitely like that (always have to be doing something) but I think my friends would have a proper snigger if anyone were to describe me as effective!

ChicCroissant · 03/09/2020 13:56

Liking the task definitely helps, but I think it's also priorities in getting the important (or boring!) stuff done first to leave time for whatever you prefer doing later.


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barberousbarbara · 03/09/2020 14:12

I'm a bit of a mixture and I'm much better at being efficient when it's for other people. I'm very efficient at work but I manage a facility and poor management will impact on others. At home I'm far less efficient, apart for looking after my Mom (who has dementia). Anything for Mom gets priority and done in super quick time

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