Over the years I’ve become obsessed with efficiency. I think that time is ultimately our most valuable resource, and we waste too much of it. I think this goes both ways too, we can sit at our desk and stare at Facebook at work, thereby ruining our productivity, and we can also waste our leisure time, by doing subpar activities. When I first discussed this concept with my wife, I told her I didn’t want to do anything that wasn’t “awesome”. In other words, if I’m going to work on something, I want to make it something great. If I’m going to relax or have fun, I’m want it to be a blast! If we’re not consciously trying to do this, we end up in the middle on both fronts, we work 8 or 9 hours of the day, and finish the day unsatisfied, then we sit around and watch tv at night to unwind. There are many different variations of this concept:
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t
The hedgehog concept has you only focusing on the most important aspects of your business. Jim Collins has proven with mountains of data that companies that follow this concept tend to be the most successful.
- Gazelle Intensity, Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey helps families get out of debt. He argues that the only way this is possible is by throwing caution to the wind and getting “Gazelle Intense”. The concept came from the fact that Gazelle’s can outrun Cheetahs by bobbing and weaving intensely until the Cheetah gets tired and gives up. This focused intensity on your goals is what I’m talking about.
- Putting First Things First, Stephen Covey
Here Stephen explains that you should focus on what matters, and not on what doesn’t. You should focus on those things that have the most worth to you, and let the the others take a backseat.
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)
Tim Ferriss is the king of this concept. He argues my point to an extreme. His proposal is that you deconstruct every aspect of your life, and the reconstruct it with only the absolutely necessary components. If you really want to get into the nitty gritty then read The Four Hour Work Week.
So if we value our lives, shouldn’t we value our time above all else? Isn’t time more fleeting than even money? And regardless of that, doesn’t joy and success naturally follow those who value their time above all else? Whether your goal is to serve the poor, travel the world, become rich, spend more time with your family, or all of the above, the proper and intentional use of time is what will get you there.