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E is for Efficient

E is for Efficient
This entry is part 5 of 27 in the series A to Z

The treadmill. The assembly line. The hamster wheel. Are you on one of those?

I suppose a busy hamster is better than my lethargic koala, but … is it? Just around and around. Maybe faster and faster, but it’s still the same wheel. OK, sure, we’ll let you upgrade to a bigger, better, faster wheel. But it’s still a wheel. It still has no beginning and no end. It just goes. Well, it doesn’t even go, it just goes around.

Kyle Bragger suggests, no, implores you to Stop working (so hard). He writes:

I’m currently working the fewest hours per week I ever have in my professional life, and I’ve never been more productive.

I think I could calculate the inverse. I’m working like a dog (what’s with all the animals … ?) the past few weeks and feel like I’m just treading water. Oops, typo. I wrote “past few weeks,” that should have been “past few years.” Yes, sure, I’m making some ground on some of the projects, but I’m just surviving on the others. Here’s another animal: ostrich. When I put my head in the sand, I feel like I have fewer projects. Great management strategy, that.

Efficient: performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort; having and using requisite knowledge, skill, and industry

Wow, sounds like a goal to me: “best possible,” “least waste of time,” “using knowledge.” So where I am going wrong?

Effective: adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result

Aha, here’s my problem. I think I use the two interchangeably. I’m getting the job done. I’m doing my best, but I’m still just running. Running and running. Sure, I’m in better shape, but I need to upgrade to a bike. No, better yet, go sit in the stands and plan out my goals, my plans, my strategy. Why am I running around and around?

  • OK, sure, pay the bills. But beyond that?
  • Where am I going?
  • How am I going to get there?
  • What am I going to do when I get there?
  • Is that really the goal?
  • Is that truly where I want to go?

I’m not being efficient–or smart–with my time. I don’t prioritize well enough. I just firefight. Then my day is over. I’m focused, I’m a hard worker, but I’m striving for effective and not striving for efficient. I think that’s the issue. Ya think?

It’s not a new topic (see: industrial revolution) and there are lots of people talking about it:

Lots of people are talking about it. What are you doing about it?

Dogs don't care about efficient. They just want to be loved ... and eat.

Dogs don’t care about efficient. They just want to be loved … and eat. Not such a bad strategy.


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