15 May

Minimize Efficiency

Blogs all over the internet will tell you how to get the most for your time. Increase your output and maximize your efficiency. Following these ideas the amount you can accomplish will increase substantially and your life will probably improve. I know many tips have worked for me and I even share some of my own. But not all efficiency is good.

My wife works in retail at Banana Republic a couple days a week. Most of the time while she works I watch our 8 month old son.  From a finance perspective this is incredibly inefficient. Through my software design company I bill out my time for more than 10x what she makes per hour. If money were the only metric that we used to make decisions she would have quit her job a long time ago. Instead we look at the big picture and see the benefits beyond only finances. She gets a change of scenery with people at work she enjoys. I get to spend quality time with Oliver. Often going to visit my dad or other friends. It is a great time away from all distractions of work and other obligations. My entire focus for that time is my son. Wonderful, but inefficient.

Lately my iOS apps haven’t made a lot of progress since I’ve been busy with contract work. A friend suggested that I hire out the development to get them moving more quickly. Again, this would efficient. I am a very slow programmer and my time is far more efficiently spent on design. Instead I insist of doing almost all of the programming myself. It’s slow, but I want to learn as much as I can.

Finally, I spend time writing this blog, which is not an efficient way to make money. Again, I should be working on my backlog of design tasks and billable work. That is if making money was the most important thing. Instead I’ve found a balance between activities that make money and activities that make me happy or improve my life.


The cover photo is my son, Oliver at 7 months old.

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2 Responses to “Minimize Efficiency”

  1. Well said Nathan. It’s better to set your priorities in life based on what’s important for you (e.g. spending time with family) then applying efficiency measures where it fits.

    In that sense, it’s more important to be effective (i.e. family time, learning, socializing, etc) than be efficient.

  2. Alejandro R. Buteler says:

    You really do get your points across.
    Thanks for sharing.

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