It was pointed out to me by a friend that in my search for shortcuts, I may sometimes lose sight of the objective. My friend explained that I was trying to be efficient without paying attention to how effective I was being.
I'm not sure who was the first person to talk about this concept of effective versus efficient. I have found that Peter Drucker seems to have also had some thoughts on this idea. He said "Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things."
I think the key difference between these ideas is that effectiveness is measuring our actions against progress towards our goal and efficiency is measuring our actions as the goal in themselves. This may also be thought of as "penny wise and pound foolish". Meaning, we may save a little money today, and in the long run we will lose much more money.
How effective are your actions? Are they moving you closer towards your goals everyday?