Effective vs. Efficient

Effective vs. Efficient

I remember when I was in high school and my teacher did an object lesson on the Industrial Revolution. She gave us each plain white sheets of paper and gave us five minutes to draw a person. “Make them as ornate as possible,” she said. The timer started and off we went. Our creations varied in skill, but the true artists in the class generated beautiful works of art. For the time given, I was quite impressed with our illustrations. Then, the teacher changed it up. She told us to arrange ourselves into an assembly line. Each of us would be given five seconds to draw a specific body part and then pass it to our neighbor for them to complete their designated job. We were supposed to crank out as many complete people as possible in five minutes. The timer rang and that second group of drawings we produced were TERRIBLE. We made a lot of them, but the quality was awful. 

Fast forward this valuable life lesson about 7 years into the future. Enter me today. I’ve always been speedy fast. Like, I get yelled at the most for running around like a chicken with my head cut off. “Slow down Rachael” is something that always echoes after my footsteps. And due to circumstances in my life, I’ve been forced to learn how to slow down and pause–and it’s taught me a lot. 

There is an art to stopping to smell the roses. There is a craft to slowing down and taking your time. Admiring the beauty of things is good–actually it’s necessary. While efficiency gets things done, it doesn’t produce the same quality of work that is needed to stand out in a crowd, especially in creative circles. In the creative field, it isn’t the quantity of work that counts, it’s the quality. I’ve found that when I take my time, my skill level increases. The people that count on me actually have less work to do when I take my time and do it right. I am more effective in the impact that I make when I take my time, and that is what ultimately counts.

Photo of Intern Rachael smiling. She is a young woman with dark hair and green eyes.

Intern Insights: Join Rachael every week as she journeys into the world of communications and marketing.


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