A RWU Student writes:

How do I become effective and efficient? Because I find myself doing a 45 minutes assignment for 3 hours.

Most people are inefficient and ineffective because they lack a plan. As in most things, we tend to jump headfirst into everything we do without thinking and without planning. And although we do it, it really doesn’t make sense. Would you go someplace you’ve never been without first asking for directions or doing your research?

Well, the truth of the matter is that planning doesn’t only apply to taking trips, it should apply to our lives as well. Before you do anything, always count the cost of doing it. Therefore, I would like to offer you the following advice on how to work “smarter” not harder:

1. Ask yourself, “Has ANYONE ever done this (the thing you’re about to do) successfully before (or anything similar to it)?”

2. If so, ask yourself, “How can I contact them?”
– if no one has, ask yourself, “Who do I know who knows somebody who’s done this before?”

3. Contact them.

4. Ask the person you contact, “If you were me, how would you attack this problem?”

5. Then ask the person, “If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently to save you time (be more effective)?”

6. Thank the person for their wisdom and guidance.

7. Implement their ideas along with your own.

It’s that simple. See, sometimes in order to get the right answers, you just need to ask the right questions. Think about it, whatever you want to do or have to do, somebody on the planet has probably done it already or is doing it (or something similar to it). Case in point, you writing me to ask for advice on how to work efficiently and effectively. Your job is simple, FIND THAT PERSON or group of “experts” and APPLY what they tell you.

Good luck, and as always, live purposefully!

– Prof. Joe Martin

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