New Principle

I’ve always considered myself engineering-minded. And with that, came a desire for efficiency. Therefore, I attempted to streamline a lot of processes I performed in everyday life. I pursued efficiency in all matters. But now I realize the folly in that pursuit. It’s dumb. Efficiency itself isn’t dumb per se, but applying it to everyday tasks IS.

Essentially, it results in “hurry-up and wait”. If you’re super-efficient in everything you do, you often end-up with nothing to do. If I can prepare and consume a meal in under 10-minutes, now what? Compare that to someone that selects a recipe, shops for specific ingredients, preps everything, cooks it, eats it with a companion, cleans-up afterward – the entire meal process takes time and could fill a significant portion of the day.

What did efficiency ever get me? More time to do what, exactly? More time to apply efficiency I suppose. Cutting out as much fluff as possible and moving on to the next thing obviously hampers the ability to appreciate anything and minimizes application of an esthetic element. Keep it simple and prioritize function over form. It’s not a better way to live, it’s just a recipe for boredom and austerity.

Therefore, my new primary engineering principle to pursue is “precision”. No longer am I shaving off steps, boiling-down tasks to their barest essentials, I am now inclined to delve deeper into individual operations and pursue them with greater care and appreciation. In short: the ends will not justify the means – it’s the means that will matter most. It’s not about “perfectionism” though, it’s simply an admiration of accuracy and taking the time to do something well.