Do you want to be more effective? Here’s an easy guide and fun way to improve


We all want to be effective in life yet many of us don’t even know what that means. Many do realise that as of now they’ve been wasting time and they do realize that life is too short. And we cannot afford to just keep engaging in not so impactful activities. Just as somebody once said, “life is too short to engage in meaningless activities”.

So below are some of the things that I have read sometime and I believe if they are followed carefully they can really bring in some meaningful activity in your life. They can help us to begin to see more effectiveness in our endeavors and they can then be able to reduce the anxiety that some of us face in waking up every morning.

To start off with, it is very imperative to understand what causes much anxiety in life. What is the cause of much pressure that we seem to experience daily as we wake up and we think of going to work?

Or when we think of going to our own businesses, for the self-employed, what is the greatest cause of anxiety? And I believe we can all agree that many are discouraged by the feelings of not achieving, or the feelings of just waking up and going through routine. Many people experiencing anxiety, now view work as necessary evil to be avoided rather than an adventure to be explored.

So when working on our journey to being more efficient, it is imperative to then consider making a list of high-priority activities- the things that we cannot afford to miss. Those that will bring in the highest impact.

The 20% of the things that if done properly will bring about the 80% of the impact. It is also very imperative to stick to it. Sometimes we lack the discipline to see things through. We do have lists but we don’t always stick to them. In life, so many things are fighting for attention; so many things are fighting for our devotion yet only a few of those things really deserve much attention.

Equally important in drafting this list we have to be more specific. You see we cannot afford to just bring about generalizations. You have to be more specific. You have to know what you want to achieve within a specific period of time and what resources will then be needed.

It is also very helpful to then identify the distractions to avoid. Even though, sometimes we know what we want; we will have brought all these plans together; and then we know that we are very specific, we don’t always get to look into what we may need to avoid.

For some, you may have to spend less time on your mobile phone; for some you may have to spend less time watching TV and still for some, it may mean spending less time hanging out with friends.

And then another thing is to stay focused. It is just as somebody once said “Focus stands for Follow One Course Until Success”. For many of us even after having identified all these priorities, focus may still need to be cultivated.

Also very important, is the fact of not multitasking. Being effective in life requires focus. It requires discipline. If multitasking, you’re risking giving more attention to some activities that may not contribute to the 80% success that you’re aspiring to achieve.

Moreover, have contingency plans for things that could go wrong. You see in as much as we all have these goals; it is also equally important to then have contingency plans for things that could go wrong.

Sometimes things go wrong either because you have underestimated the impact of other activities or either because you did not quite have the needed skills to then bring about the needed activities.

And in doing this you always have to highlight the relevance of activities. Pursue activities that are most relevant in the course of action that will bring about the desired impact.

Unbelievable as this is, it is also very important to say “NO” more often. You see a lot of us like to please everybody and then in doing that we lose focus on the priorities that we had identified initially. In doing that we will hinder our effectiveness if we can’t say no.

You always have to manage your time. In deciding on the plans be specific and set time-bound activities.

Also where possible group tasks in order to maximize relaxation time.

Maximize high-energy moments. You see we sometimes experience success in other areas in our lives than in others, so it is very important to maximize those areas in which you experience the most success. Do this to always build in your momentum and as a source of motivation.

Also create effective shortcuts. Sometimes in working towards achieving our goals there are times when we may not necessarily have to go all the way. We may sometimes have to spot or create effective shortcuts, without comprising.

Furthermore, always break tasks into small and manageable pieces. Sometimes the very fact of approaching big tasks can be discouraging. So it is important to learn to break activities into manageable pieces, then they become more possible than intimidating.

One other thing, learn to take regular mini breaks.

And learn to communicate effectively. In the pursuit of our goals, we need other people. It is very key to the know how to communicate with different people, who may be part of the team that supports you in achieving the goal. This is because you don’t want to be misunderstood, which can lead to disastrous outcomes.

Learn from your mistakes. You see after having completed or sometimes not even having accomplished the intended outcomes, it is useful to sit down and reflect and then see what went wrong and what could have been done differently. Mistakes in and of themselves are not problems but we have to try and find a way of critiquing them and finding a positive criticism.

Lastly, learn to replicate your successes. It means you need to copy your successful approaches, methods and/or perspectives in different projects.


Teboho Polanka
Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.