Efficiency is not one of the Gods

Many of the entrepreneurs and leaders that I know have become obsessed with efficiency. Like everyone else, they want exactly what they want, and they want it now. Or yesterday.

I can relate to that. I wish I didn’t have to spend time lining up speeches (I only really want to deliver them!), I wish I didn’t have to wait in line at security every time I fly, and I wish there was some way I could just get knowledge into my head without  going through the process of learning. Since I have to do all of these things, might as well do them as quickly as possible right?

If I look toward the popular sages of business and leadership, they’ll teach me how to do more things in less time. They’ll help me figure out the quickest way to hit my sales quota, time my schedule out to the minute, and focus on the 80/20 principle everywhere I go.

At first brush, this makes sense: time is my most precious resource, and I should use it well. Thus I should complete everything as quickly as possible, leaving me with more time to spend with friends, family, hobbies, etc.

So I end up blindly worshiping efficiency as though it’s some sort of new God or something.

Like everyone else, I used to believe that efficiency was intrinsically valuable. But my views on this are evolving.

I realize that the truly important thing is not getting everything done immediately or getting to where I want to be ASAP. The truly important thing is enjoying the process and enjoying the time I’m spending.

So now, instead of trying to do everything as quickly as possible, I’m working on making each task as fun and engaging as possible.

If I’m fast and efficient but miserable, what’s the point? I don’t think there is one.

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