Dictionary

Stuck (aka Introducing My Personal Efficiency Fallacy)

[verb/idiom;  Pronunciation: /stuhk/]

  • Definition: Not being able to get loose off something, to get over a certain way of thinking, or find a way out of that box you’ve been hiding in for years. You’re stuck because you won’t allow change in or because there is no more room for change. Or is there??
“I think it’s a fallacy that the harder you practice the better you get” – Buddy Rich

There is something I forgot to mention about the Dutch when coming up with my last special edition Summary, which is that we tend to focus on efficiency in practically everything we do. No matter the situation, we are always thinking of newer, better, faster and improved ways of getting the job done, whatever the job in question is. Be it working in the garden, cycling to the city centre, or taking a shower, you name it, we improve it. Time is money and we always have too little of either.

I do the same with my daily endeavours. I have come up with the most efficient way for me to get up in the morning, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, get dressed and get moving.
I have found the best way to shower, which is wash my hair, wash my face, wash my hair again (really, you should try it! The first time your shampoo only gets rid of the grease in your hair, but the second time it starts working its magic!), wash my back, then the rest of my body and voila! Done.
And finally, when I go to bed, I have yet another ritual that’s been perfected in its execution: undo make-up, wash face, brush teeth, brush lips (I am not crazy, this helps prevent getting dry lips), use hand cream.

And I could name a few more.

But my efficiency fallacy is, with all that efficient action going on, I now feel stuck. When I was still in the process of figuring out the most efficient ways to shower and get up in the morning, I seemed happier. But now that I have come to the conclusion my rituals are perfected to their limits, there seems no point to enjoy them any more.

Which got me thinking: is doing something efficient still efficient if it loses its purpose of making you happy? Or am I not allowed to enjoy taking a shower, because who does, really?

Just like most people, I am stuck on the idea that efficiency is the same as effectiveness, which is not. The first is all about getting the job done with as few resources and effort as possible, the latter is simply getting the job done.

So what happens if “the job” changes from taking a shower to enjoy taking a shower?

I must experiment with this. There is no use in living your highly efficient life if you can’t enjoy it, so it seems worth a try to turn over a different leaf.

But if my OCD won’t let me do things differently because OMG the world could stop spinning if you eat breakfast in your clothes rather than your pyjamas (I am a messy eater and I don’t want to start the day by spilling food on my clothes), I really should take up yoga. I mean, I have never really done yoga before, so there’s plenty of room for improvement there.

And efficiency, as my non-existent yoga skills could definitely get more efficient.

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14 thoughts on “Stuck (aka Introducing My Personal Efficiency Fallacy)

  1. I think I just like to be more efficient so that I have more time to think about posts, play video games and eat pizza. The more efficient you are in your work, the less efficient you have to be in your play.

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  2. Efficiency can be overdone. I’m not saying anyone is doing that, it is just someone one needs to be alert about. As far as learning as learning new things, perhaps one is best playing to one’s strengths. Babe Ruth was the home run King. Few mention he was also the strike out King. I suppose he could have become a more efficient batter, striking out a little less often, but then he would never have become what he did.

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  3. I have perfected the way I dry myself after a shower and the way I brush my teeth, so I know where you’re coming from. I do remember one time listening to some very intelligent scientist or other saying in an interview that we should always try to change the way we do things now and then because it keeps our brains active. (I’m not sure whether he made this statement in the most efficient way possible, though.)

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  4. I think my sister once mentioned that scientist, too! I forgot his name, but I remember W calling it “brain training” or something.
    If that is so, I’m going to look for the most efficient way to change my routines around :)

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  5. I don’t have particular book in mind. Here is my understanding. At certain points we all experience the feeling of got stuck, especially when we grow too familiar and comfortable with our daily routines and environment. When that happens, we crave for change: the new challenges that are out of our comfortable zone.

    The crave for change, however, does not always translate into actions. Change means uncertainty and risk. That scare some people: they would rather stay stuck than taking the risk that comes with each adventure. Indeed, I don’t think any book knowledge can help at that critical point: everybody understands the pros and cons. The only issue is whether he is willing to take the next step: you must act.

    Too often people fail to truly realize how short life is. We each have roughly 900 months life span. If we put them on an A-4 paper and tickets it off each month, we will get the chilling feeling of mortality—that will infuse the courage into our bone.

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