How do you become more effective in your work or in your studies? Well, to answer that question we would first need to understand the causes of the ineffectiveness. You can’t start treatment before the diagnosis. Here are four important aspects of effectiveness to keep in mind:

1. The Cause

Try to locate the source to the problem. When did you first start to become ineffective, have you always been like this and so forth. Once you think you know the cause of the problem it becomes a lot easier to deal with it. For instance, some people start to become ineffective when their favorite TV show is on and they lose grip of their work. Other people tend to be more effective during the cooler periods of the year and drop in efficiency as soon as the sun returns. No matter what it is, try to locate the source of the problem. If you want to rid yourself of the disease you need to find the root cause, otherwise all you’re doing is simply treating symptoms.

2. Know where you stand

Before you begin trying to ameliorate the problem it’s important that you understand the magnitude of the problem. You need to measure it’s scope, how ineffective have you become, how much more effective do you want to be and so forth. Posing questions such as these will enable you to understand the depth of the given circumstances. There are numerous ways of quantifying your effectiveness. A simple way of doing this is by starting out the day by defining how much work or how much studies you need to have done by the end of the day. Once you’ve made a list of all the tasks that need to be done, you can then at the end of the day look back and see how much was actually finished.

3. Do something about it

To become more effective you need to have a strong sense of purpose with your work. If you haven’t defined your goals in explicit terms you won’t really know when you’ve reached them or how much is left. If you haven’t done so already I would advise to do so before proceeding any further. Clearly defined goals aren’t the only thing that is needed. You also need to focus, the more you focus the more things you get done. Don’t procrastinate and never put important work to the side, get it done and get it done immediately (if it’s vitally important of course).

4. Always evaluate

Evaluation is of immense importance. If you don’t evaluate how much work you’ve done, you won’t know if you’ve been effective or not. Always look back and see you if the work you did today moved you any closer to the goals you wanted to reach eventually. By measuring your actions in terms of your long term goals you get a better sense of what’s important and what’s not as important.

Finally, if you truly want to be effective you have learn to control yourself. Don’t get distracted by everything little thing that shows up, if you want to be more effective you’ll have to force yourself to be more effective.