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You would probably feel elated to hear yourself described as an efficient person. Such an event is likely to take place if you take time to consider what is meant by efficiency, and how it can be achieved. Efficiency is the ability to do whatever is expected to us, as promptly, accurately and economically as possible.
Implied in the term efficiency are the following qualities and characteristics.
Once a person lets you down, any
notion that he was efficient quickly begins to fade. All over the country every
day, thousands of irate housewives fume about the inefficiency of tradesmen,
salesman, mechanics, electricians, plumbers and so on, because these people so
often fail to arrive at the promised time.
Whenever you suffer from someone’s
unreliability, you attribute to the defaulter such qualities as indifference,
carelessness and thoughtlessness. Such judgements should lead us to determine
to be more reliable ourselves in future.
2. No Wastage:
Another essential factor in the
concept of efficiency is that there should be no wastage of time, material,
effort or processing. The efficient
person will always be asking and responding to such questions as: Is this
necessary? How can this be improved? Is
there any alternative method? Is there a simpler route, material or process?
If you apply these questions to your
daily tasks you may be able to make a suggestion or two to your employer,
increase production, reduce waste and improve the finished product. Such
suggestions might gain you a reputation of efficiency and probably lead to
efficient person is always punctual. There is no last minute scurrying
for him. He doesn’t arrive late as that would be discourteous. He doesn’t
arrive unduly early because that would waste his own valuable time. He
organizes his life and so disciplines himself, as to arrive at the agreed time
or a little earlier.
No one has ever been favourably impressed by
lateness. No one ever regards the latecomer as efficient.
Prompt discharge of all duties is
another hallmark of the efficient person. He prides himself as being on active
man. He sets deadlines and meets them, and deals similarly with those set by
others. He responds quickly to invitations. He does not procrastinate. He gets
Here then is a challenge for you if
you really want to make yourself more efficient. In future make immediate
response to every demand, request, duty, appeal, invitation which comes your
The efficient person takes pride in
being accurate. Careless mistakes are no characteristic of his. He makes a
habit of checking and even double – checking. He doesn’t make omissions or false calculations. He
checks his facts. He is prompt to consult a dictionary or reference book if he
has the slightest doubt. Accuracy is his watchword.
6. Tidiness and Order:
Untidiness is the reason why things
get lost, and time is wasted looking for
them. At times matters are completely overlooked because the person responsible
has never developed. We take the first steps towards efficiency when we develop
tidy habits in the home in the workshop or in the office. Having drawers and
boxes labeled, and putting papers into appropriate files are methodical
practices well worth developing.
Another habit worth acquiring is always to return
things promptly to their proper places. This prevents muddle pilling up and
enables you to find articles quickly when they are next required. Developing a
regular routine for certain duties is another way of keeping confusion and
forgetfulness at bay.
7. A Good Memory:
If we aspire to efficiency, we MUST
NOT forget. Forgetfulness springs from not being interested, from not waiting
to know, from regarding certain things as unimportant. This is almost
equivalent to an instruction to our minds to forget the matter.
We remember the things we are
interested in the things we want. When we become interested in personal
efficiency, we shall remember much more reliably.
8. Clear Speech:
When our speech is slurred, it is
difficult to follow. This destroys interest, leads to misunderstandings,
mistakes and confusion. Reading aloud daily, over emphasizing each word and
stressing the endings is one way of increasing clarity of speech.
9. Clear Writing:
We write in order to convey ideas to
other minds. If our handwriting is so slipshod that others find it hard to
read, we had better resort to typing or resolve to make improvements in the
formation of letters. It is difficult for adults to change the habit of years,
but it can be done with determination and daily practice.
10. Smart Appearance
Undoubtedly it will help us to be
efficient if we ensure that we look efficient. Personal cleanliness, good
grooming, an erect carriage and a
businesslike walk will help create a self – image of efficiency and this
in turn will help it to become a reality.