Busy vs Effective: 6 practical ways to start being effective, not just busy

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Looking for ways to start being effective? 
First rule: Learn to manage time effectively.
Second rule: Plan ahead. 

Have you ever wondered why you work hard everyday, so busy that you don’t even have time for yourself yet you achieve so little at the end of the day? Journey with me as I unfold the eye-opening methods you can use to start being effective and not just busy.

In this present age we have lots of things that can keep us occupied that we won’t even realize that time is far spent,things like movies, games, social media, internet just to mention a few, with great use and benefits can also serve as time wasters – depending on how we use them.

Being effective implies being productive, bring able to focus on the important stuffs. I have had this experience myself and I write to educate my readers on some of the ways I have changed my routine from being so busy to being effective.
Here are a few tips you should take note of if you want to be effective :


Time is one of the greatest asset we have, we get it for free and it’s so invaluable , it can’t be replenished. Once lost, it cannot be gained, which is why utilizing it effectively is important to our progress.

“The biggest mistake you make is that you think you have time” -Buddha

 In general it is advisable we spend time on things that really adds value to us. Every human being is gifted 24 hours a day, but some people are highly achieving and some are just there with little progress, the difference is in the way we spend our time. Highly achieving people know the value of time, hence they learn how to manage time, while under-achieving people don’t manage it well. Which class do you want to belong?

There is a polular saying by Benjamin Franklin that “If you fail to plan  you plan to fail”. Planning means looking ahead. Even though in most cases a plan needs to be updated, it good to have one because it will serve as a framework for the process. The need to plan ahead cannot be overemphasized, it makes work faster and easier.

Even when all tasks looks important it is important you have a list of the ones you want to accomplish first. You might choose to tackle the hard ones first before doing the easy ones because if you expend energy on the easy ones first, the hard ones becomes harder to accomplish. Let’s take for example, you ate a student. You have an exam tomorrow and a date today, it will be better off to prepare for the exam first before going to the date, because you might probably be too tired to read when you return from your outing. We all know the potential outcome when a student fails to prepare for a examination. In essence, finish the most important tasks first, this way you are more efficient.

Some people try to do more than a thing at a time, thinking they accomplish more that way. In reality it works the other way round, sometimes our jobs get so overwhelming and all the tasks looks so important that we don’t even know where to start, and we try to focus on more than one thing at a time. Well, here is my advice;Focus on one thing at a time. Studies have shown that multitasking only increases time costs and makes tasks more complex which results in reduced efficiency. It’s therefore important to ensure that you do not multitask, focus on a thing at a time.

Imagine if Bill Gates is the one doing all of the work himself, from being the CEO to being the manager, the designer, the programmer, the marketer etc, do you think he can do all the work himself? It’s impossible. Working smart is what all the CEO’s, company owners, entrepreneurs and all highly achieving people do. Listen, you don’t have to do all the work yourself that’s why we have professionals skilled to do the task for a reward. Imagine I want to cut down a tree with a blunt axe, what do you think I should do

  • Sharpen the axe, or
  • Try harder using the blunt axe. 

Of course you will agree with me that sharpening the axe is the solution. That’s the ideology of working smart, you don’t have to do all the hard work yourself, hire people who are skilled to help you, that way you reduce the bulk of the work you ought to do, this way you are more effective.

Highly efficient people know when to say yes and when to say no. The less achieving people say yes to everything. In the book “Boundaries”Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend made a illustration of a woman named Sherrie that doesn’t have the habit of setting boundaries, she thinks it will be unfair to turn some people down, she accepts people’s problem as her own at the expense of her own problems, she solve people’s problems but ignore her own,and she even use her religious beliefs to back it up.Eventually, that habit took a toll in her life and family affairs. She started having marital problems, her husband was no longer loving, her daughter was depressed and all sort, because she wasn’t able to give then enough time. Here is my advise, set boundaries, while solving people’s problems, remember yours too, if you don’t have the habit of setting boundaries you will always be busy with other people’s affairs and your own life will experience little or no progress or the problems might start taking toll on your affairs too just like it took a toll on Sherrie’s life.

In this busy world, it is important we balance effectiveness and busyness to ensure progress. I have shared quite a few tips on ways to start being effective. I hope you enjoyed it, feel free to add your own ideas in the comment box below.


About Author

I love to surf the internet and research on lots of topic, however topics like motivation, finance and self-development tops my list. One of my favorite sites include Quora, it's a great Q & A site, where I source for questions and I answer them here.


  1. Long time supporter, and thought I’d drop a comment.

    Your wordpress site is very sleek – hope you don’t mind me asking what theme you’re using?
    (and don’t mind if I steal it? :P)

    I just launched my site –also built in wordpress like yours– but the
    theme slows (!) the site down quite a bit.

    In case you have a minute, you can find it by searching for “royal cbd”
    on Google (would appreciate any feedback) – it’s still in the works.

    Keep up the good work– and hope you all take care of yourself
    during the coronavirus scare!

    • Gbenga Olajide on

      I’m glad you liked it. You have an awesome site too, the name of my theme is smartmag, you can find it on themeforest. Stay safe #coronavirus

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