The Art of Being an Efficient Manager

efficient managers

A lot of people have goals of being a manager someday. There is the thought that management level roles provide better compensation and benefits. However, bear in mind that with this promotion comes with it a bigger responsibility. The good news is that being an efficient manager is something that we can learn as long as we have the drive and motivation to really do things right.

Efficiency in management may be considered more as an art than a science. There may be quantitative methods in management as in the case of scientific management but we need to understand that these theoretical methods can be treated as an art form when applying them in real life situations.

Efficiency Defined

Peter Drucker, one of the most notable management consultants of our time and considered the founder of modern management, once quoted that efficiency is doing things right, whereas effectiveness is doing the right things. We must understand that apart from being effective, we also need to work on efficiency in order to produce the desired results.

Doing a lot of things does not necessarily equate to being efficient. Efficiency seeks the maximum output given a certain input. It aims to make the best use of resources with the least waste of time and effort.

This means that being an efficient manager is a huge responsibility. You would have to be able to make the right decisions in order to maximize company resources to produce the best results.

Quick Pointers for Efficient Management

Management is probably more of an art than a science. There is no surefire formula on how to really do it perfectly. However, with lots of practice and application, you would definitely become better at it.

Below are some quick pointers that we can share on how to become a more efficient manager:

1. Always do the most difficult tasks first
We have the tendency to put off the things that are not easy for us to do. We procrastinate on the difficult tasks thinking that someone else will do them. We need to change our mindset; those difficult tasks will not get finished by themselves.

One trick in order to become a more efficient manager is to do the most difficult tasks first. The advantage with doing the difficult tasks first is that you will be able to dedicate the best part of your energy and time on these hard tasks that need your focus. You must be able to learn to do that one thing, uninterrupted, for sustained periods of time. Focus increases your productivity and efficiency.

2. Apply the 80-20 rule
You may have heard of the Pareto principle or the 80-20 rule. This rule from Vilfredo Pareto states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the input. Be aware though that the numbers do not have to be exactly 20% and 80%. They key point to remember is that most things in life contribute more than others. Focus on the critical few more than the trivial many.

This does not mean however that you will just ignore the rest of the tasks that do not contribute much. You still need to work on those small things but remember that you do not need to sweat much on the small stuff.

3. Increase individual productivity
One of the important factors that spell increased efficiency is the workforce. If each member of the team is empowered enough to improve their skillsets and get to do more with less time, then overall efficiency in increased.

To be a more efficient manager, it is important to invest in improving the leadership and management skills of your people individually. Make sure that your team is equipped with the right people. Jim Collins, author of the bestselling book, Good To Great, once quoted that successful leadership starts with getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.

4. Never stop learning
The world is constantly changing. In order to become a more efficient manager, you should always be updated with the latest management techniques. Constantly feed yourself with new knowledge and information. Learn about the latest in management trends and consistently apply them.

There are several online training courses on how to be an efficient manager so you always have that opportunity to add to your skills at your convenient time. Some companies offer leadership skills development as part of their employee training platform and learning management system. Maximize these HR training courses so that you can get the most benefit out of them.

It is the application of knowledge that brings results to what we do. We must always keep in mind that knowledge is useless without application. Therefore, in order to be an efficient manager, you must always strike a balance between learning the science and applying what you learn as an art.

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Kathy Amato

Director of Marketing at Coggno
Kathy Amato is the Director of Marketing at, a website that aggregates online training courses and also offers a free Learning Management System.

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