Efficiency as a way of life

Efficiency, as a general rule of thumb is good. Why carry out a task a certain way when you know that there is an easier way, a faster way, a more efficient way using fewer resources? Although we all know this and might readily agree to it, the majority of us don’t really practise it.

When walking, do we walk from point A to point B in as straight a line as possible or do we follow how the path meanders, allowing it to make us travel a little bit more everyday and taking up a little bit more of our time. When talking, do we add meaningless waffles and other unrelated issues before actually getting to the point? When listening, do we expect formalities and textbook like greetings before being willing to classify the speaker as polite and sensitive?

These issues although debatable, I think you can see where I am coming from. I think efficiency should be a way of life and not only mentioned during meetings or strategic-planning like discussions. Look at it this way, how can a business be more successful than the other? The more successful company is usually using relatively less resources and gaining a higher profit. So I believe in some weird way a person who does things more efficiently should be better as compared to a person who is less efficient.

God am I task oriented.

15 Replies to “Efficiency as a way of life”

  1. I think that there is a big difference between a business and an individual.

    I think that people are analog creatures, driven by ideas and motives not easily quantified by zeros and ones or by assets and liabilities. When we start treating each other like assets, or like numbers in a system – we lose something.

    I’ve never heard anyone describe creative people as especially efficient. Efficient is a term I’d expect in describing an accountant or assembly line worker. Of course, I’m not either of those.

    Sure… we should be hard workers and do an honest day’s work for our employers — But like in all things, lets take our efficiency in moderation.

    Take time to wander that path a little. sheesh! :)

  2. I think that there is a balance that needs to be struck. Anything in extreme has it’s consequences. (Newton’s third law of motion).

    I grew up spending nearly all of my time obsessed with technology – where thinking logically gets you ahead. My parent’s didn’t know any better. I suppose that they figured that my interest in high-tech would guarantee me a good career. In hindsight, I don’t think the price was worth it.

    I really do believe that my obsession has damaged my intuition and my imagination. I can be creative in my own way; but I really have to work at it.

    I have friends who I consider artists, and their way of thinking is completely alien and fascinating to me. They are the most sloppy, inefficient, weird, and wonderful people I know. I’ve wanted to “get in their heads” for some time now. It’s tough.

    When your efficient and quick, you really shift into left-brained thinking (sequential, verbal, analytical, rational, logical, objective, linguistic, feature, time-constrained thinking). It can be tough to shift modes and use the other side of your noggin which is used to deal with visual stimuli, intuition, subjective thought, musical appreciation, and simultaneous (multi-faceted) thought.

    I know that I have to make an effort to set aside time to just daydream and relax everday or I end up running around; 100mph – 100% of the time. Sure, I get stuff done, but I don’t have much fun doing it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think that efficiency is great thing – it really is a part of what makes us people. But I think that we too often get caught up in that type left-brained, go-get’em type of thinking and neglect the other side of ourselves that often makes us just plain happy.

    There, I’ve said my piece ;)

  3. I just realized I didn’t answer your question. Hah, got caught up in the moment I guess.

    I do think it’s possible to be both efficient and creative. People who are well balanced; who take the time necessary to relax and daydream are often quicker thinkers and come up with the neat ideas. It’s easy to goto extremes on either end, but I think the medium is the healthiest spot to be.

    I think your example just demonstrates my point. When your thinking clearly – you can see both sides of the equation.

    There. Now I’m really finished – Unless I confused everyone ;)

  4. we’ve just experienced a dilemma in group work at school… there’s a deadline and a group mate who is supposedly the self-declared leader. This dude thinks he’s the great thinker and comes up with all sorts of meandering theories, and the project deadline was in 2 days. Now what do we need someone who does all the talking and no work or an efficient working team?
    Think about the “survivor” series – any artists there?

  5. I think Charles has everything said on this, but I just wanted to ask something else on a similar tilt: Why is IQ so based on left-brained thinking? Why do we consider people who think more logically more intellectual and hence perhaps more talented? There is, however, no way to measure creativity I suppose.

  6. hahaha let me stretch the “language” a little
    again :P

    moderation is good, but what use is it if u cannot push the envelope further… u have to really pursue the idea and go to the extreme to achieve anything in the creative sense. in a similar way u can say that about efficiency too. cutting a corner here n there is just like a facelift, u gotta really do up the gameplan right or you’ll never achieve that quantum leap in efficency.

    BUT, time being the great limitation here, how do we actually do both to the extremes? how about being creatively efficent? or being efficently creative? not just in the linear perspective, use the innate nature of one to push the other!!! :P :P

    i think im OT… and irrelevant!!! hahahaha

  7. well, I remember ji wen always tell u to cut that crap and go straight to the point… so I guess u are not efficient after all… haha

    efficiency is explaining efficiency in a short sentence. no need to beat around the bush.. :)

    what u have written is comparable to sayin something like ” I am the MOST humble person in the world” .. haha kiddin.. no hard feelings..

    btw long time now see alfe liao… where did u pop up from dude..

  8. is dat punkGgin ?? hehe

    i am always around what.. but the net’s getting so big, everyone’s kinda like somewhere out there

  9. yessiree alfe..
    nice to see ur reply. we should meet up one of these days man.. just to catch up.. exhange ideas, tok kok …. :)

  10. I totally agree with you. I’ve never heard anyone describing creative people as especially efficient as well. But after saying all that i have said, i do desire creativity and its especially important because i’m in the web design business. But do you think that there might be an efficient way of being creative?

    I might be just playing with words, but i seriously feel if we explore efficiency at wierd places where efficiency is usually taboo, we might just come out with something totally new and very creative. Look at Fractals, simple formulas such as the Mandelbrot set (z = z*z + c) that produce complex and amazing patterns.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.