Effective and Efficient: Know the Differences!

Effective and Efficient Know the Differences!

Effective and efficient, we believe you use them a lot in conversation or writing text. However, do you know that those two have different meanings? It is not surprising that people incorrectly use those two words, which could lead to problems.

Here, you can learn more about the difference between effective and efficient words. How to use those two words for specific situations? Also, how to be efficient and effective in the real world? Let's start the journey by diving deep into the difference between two similar yet different words, effective vs. efficient.

Effective Meaning

Effective is when you can produce a successful result and provide a better value for the goal of the project. It is also related to the satisfaction level, where you give the most satisfying level from your job. In a company, effective means that you can finish your task perfectly using limited resources.

In short, being effective is when you can do your task and achieve the goal you had in the beginning. It is not related to the effort you put into finishing that task. The process of achieving the goal is also not that important here. Effective means you can achieve your aim goal and the best goal you can get.

Efficient Meaning

Effective and efficient has a different meaning. Now, let's see what the meaning of efficiency is. Efficient is a method or process to achieve the goal within a limited time and using limited resources.

We also can describe efficiency as a way to minimize the usage of your resource. The resource here includes every element of the project. It includes the time, energy, and material you need to finish the project. It is similar to the effectiveness, where everything is about the goal.

However, efficiency also considers the process, effort, and time significantly. Interestingly, it doesn't matter how you use the time and working process. Even if you do it wrongly, it is no problem, as long as you can reach the goal most shortly.

Efficient matches the modern working system. This word is the source of the birth of the automated system. Many people and companies use this system these days. It matches today's need where the goal is everything.

Effective and Efficient Comparison

To learn more about the difference between effective and efficient, let's compare them. We use several factors that help you to see the significant difference between these two words. Here they are:

  • Definition

We have explained earlier about the definition of effective and efficient. Effective means an ability or method to get what you want. As for efficiency, it is the level of performance to achieve the goal using the least amount of inputs, such as time and resources.

  • Results

Effective means you work your project out to produce the result you want. The result also is the improved version of your early goal. As for efficiency, it is a process to produce results using the least resource and time. So, it focuses more on how you achieve that result than the result condition itself.

  • Purpose

The purpose of being effective is improvement. It covers the result, as we explained earlier. Even though we also said that the process is not essential, it is also part of the improvement effort. Therefore, the next project will have a better working process and better goals that you can achieve.

How about being efficient? Its purpose is the goal. It is about achieving that goal in the shortest and easiest possible way.

Therefore, if we put the effective and efficient side by side in terms of purpose, we can see a clear difference. The effective purpose is an improvement, thus suitable for long-term projects. Efficient is a way to achieve goals in the short term.

  • Benefits

By using the effective and efficient method, you can get many benefits for each of them. To make it easier to understand, we use an example of the working environment in a company. We believe you are also familiar with this situation.

Being effective helps you increase the opportunities in your work. You have more chances to improve your skill and performance. Therefore, we can say that this is the best thing you can do to get a better career.

Being efficient means you produce more results without wasting your time and resources. In a working environment, it is essential in providing service to the customer. Effectiveness will satisfy your customer. Therefore, you need it in today's business relationship.

Which One Should Focus On?

Here comes the question. Which one should come first effective and efficient? What should you focus on?

The answer is effectiveness. Being effective should come first because it helps you get the best and most satisfying result. Efficiency is also necessary. But, if you only focus on efficiency, it does give you a faster result, but it doesn't mean the result will be satisfying and even correct.

Yet, you can't separate effective and efficient. You must use them together. You have to aim for a goal where you can work efficiently and effectively. You will need that to develop and succeed in today's world.

It also applies to the self-development effort. You should develop your effectiveness in doing your job or any task you have to finish. That helps you to understand your skill and strength. Thus, you will be able to work and get better results.

When you understand your skill, strength, and weaknesses, you can find how to utilize that to its fullest. That is where efficiency comes in. You can work much better, require fewer resources, and take a shorter time. In the end, you will be much better in everything you do, which is the goal everyone should aim for.


That's all about the difference between effective and efficient. We hope you know how to use the words correctly in conversation and writing text. More importantly, you also can implement its meaning into your self-development effort. Aim to be a better person!

Faisal "The successful warrior is the average man, with laserlike focus." - Bruce Lee

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