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Effectiveness vs. Efficiency

If you want to grow your practice into something that makes you happy, then you need to spend some time figuring out how to work more effectively.

That is, start by optimizing for effectiveness over efficiency.

Many lawyers are obsessed with efficiency, especially the ones who heavily embrace technology. But, focusing too much on efficiency can be a trap.

Remember: if you make a low-value task more efficient, what are you actually accomplishing?

Here’s what the well-regarded business consultant Peter Drucker said…

“There is nothing so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.”

Automation can deliver exponential efficiency. But applied to an ineffective workflow, how does it help?

Mostly, it just scales the uselessness.

And this is not how you grow a practice into something that’s enjoyable. Trust me.

Too many people obsess over efficiency (and not effectiveness). Why is that?

Probably because when you make something efficient you can see a tangible result right away (and we like to see tangible, immediate results when we take action).

But, seeing the results from doing things effectively takes longer.

The payoff is greater from effectiveness.

Yet, because it takes longer to see the payoff, it’s harder for people to grasp the power of effectiveness.

Subtle but Powerful Truth

If you chase the quick fixes and delude yourself into thinking it’s only about efficiency (and not effectiveness), then you’ll keep struggling.

As Peter Drucker also famously observed,

“Efficiency is about doing things right and effectiveness is about doing the right things.”

Often, it’s not obvious what the right things are.

But if you ignore things that offer “fast, amazing results” you’ll at least be weeding out some of the most insidious traps.

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