A few years ago, I answered a knock on the door to find a young woman ready to solve a problem of mine. We had off- white carpet that was getting dingy and I needed to bring it back to life. It was like the voices of the carpet cleaning Gods had spoken and sent me Cindy. Cindy was eager to help me and even offered to clean one room for free. This was great. I figured she would do one room and I would pay her to do the other two. A couple of hundred bucks and I would be good, Cindy would have a sale, and voila… Later in the evening, Cindy showed up, ALONE. No crew, just her and a fancy vacuum cleaner. She was knee deep in vacuuming my couch before I figured out that I had invited the dreaded Kirby sales rep into my house. This wasn’t going to solve my carpet cleaning issues. However, I wanted to see what this machine could do. Although I was duped into the sales pitch, I figured it would be fun. Two hours and a lot of buckets of dirty water later, I was ready to buy the thing. She kept the suspense by not revealing the price. I figured it would be six or seven hundred dollars. Maybe a bit much, but was still interested. After a four-thousand dollar quote and a half hour of pushy sales tactics, I was ready to call the police. No need to worry, Cindy finally left, and my seventy-five dollar Walmart vacuum still works fine.
Intentionality is a double-edged sword. Certainly a must have weapon on the road to awesome, however, you must not lose site of being effective. Short sightedness can sometimes lead to a dream killing “efficiency overload”.
What is the difference between effectiveness and efficiency? Effectiveness is the completion of a project or task. The project or task may be small daily items such as cleaning the kitchen or bigger life achievements such as publishing a book or owning a business. Efficiency adds the element of “smoothness” or “cost effectiveness” to the these projects, but often times at a cost. I’m often so focused on getting things done in tight time windows in order to fit in more “stuff”, I stop enjoying the process. Writing and reading, two things I love to do, started to be “boxes” to check. Since these things are not my income source, they are easily discarded if they take from my quality of life. For you these “boxes” may be yard work, cooking, or even watching Breaking Bad on Netflix.
The thing about efficiency, is that it doesn’t stand on its own as a result.The ultimate goal is to be effective.
Certain projects have hard due dates. To remain on a course toward awesome, you need to meet these timelines. I don’t typically struggle with dates on projects, where I struggle are the “extra” things.
2. Regularly schedule a Check-in on yourself. Observe your ambitious schedule for a check on priorities, results, and your happiness. As I did this, I realized my attempt at consistent blogging was taking all the fun out of it. I can afford ( as this is only a hobby), to chill out for a while and slowly jump back into the game. You will find these opportunities to fine tune your effectiveness verses efficiency. Backing off on writing is not efficient, but burning out and hating it isn’t very effective either.
I few years ago I took a random IQ test and scored 126. I’m not sure how accurate it was as it classified me as an “entry-level” genius. While I’m not sure what the means, I feel smart but never too smart to grow and learn more. Watching the news on TV the other day, I had a vision of a countdown…126…125…124…I realized the news was stealing my IQ. I was actually getting stupider. My readers are smart, at least smart enough to read blogs about personal development and awesome achievement. The news depicts “average” society as moronic and self-defeating. The Occupy Movement of a few years ago was hyped as a social movement to change the future of banking in America. It was, however, simply a fest of dirty, unemployed hippies, bored and looking to score. No one is suggesting the Occupy People are a fair look at the “average” person. Average people have much more influence and are much more ignorant in areas that impact society in so many more ways.
As the government becomes growingly influential in the “free market”, it essentially becomes “the market”. Government throwing more and more money at an industry does little more than increase the cost.
2. Basic Economics: Tomas Sowell