This is a hybrid blog/content space which combines personal knowledge with ongoing life experiences to provide guidance to applying the following two questions towards intellectual, spiritual, physical or social pursuits;
1. What is the best thing I could be doing right now with my time
2. How should I go about doing the thing I selected in question one
These two questions are very deliberately sequential, and always must be answered in this order.
Efficiency is doing things well. It is achieving high output with low input; achieving results while minimising the consumption of time, resources or effort. Efficiency is about minimising waste, or wasted effort, and only doing the absolute minimum required to achieve the desired results
Effectiveness, on the other hand, is doing the right things. It is a higher level approach. In this very moment, what is the absolute best way you could be using your time? The decision you have made, whether consciously or not, is to invest it reading this blog. It might be worthwhile asking yourself this question right now.
When you combine effectiveness with efficiency, the result is a synergistic outcome of constantly selecting the best possible use of your time in any one moment, and then ruthlessly acting on that decision, executing in a highly efficient manner. A state where results and output are magnified enormously. I like to think of this in simplified terms – effectiveness is optimising ‘what’ you are doing, and efficiency is optimising ‘how’ you do it. It is far better to do the right things, than do the wrong things well. It also doesn’t matter how well you do something, it doesn’t make it more important or valuable.
‘What’ you do really is greater than ‘how’ you do it, hence the name and philosophy of this site.
But why does all this matter?
Despite the current focus on non-renewable resources, time is the only truly non-renewable resource. One of the hardest things to come to terms with is that of all the experiences, achievements, relationships and moments we want to realise in our lives, only a fraction are possible within the time we have been allocated.
Quoting 2nd century stoic Seneca, ‘Life is long if you know how to use it’. If carefully planned, our allotment of time is sufficient to achieve significant feats. Thus, it is absolutely critical to be vigilant with the allocation of your time, and likewise to hold others accountable for the expenditure of theirs. It follows naturally that people who have an appreciation for the fragility and scarcity of time will value others’ time highly.
What’s more, when we proactively and deliberately plan our use of time, we increase the certainty that our attention will be focussed on that activity. When the mind wanders, we skip from task to task, our attention is diluted, and our focus and effectiveness on each particular task diminishes significantly.
This mindset is one that needs to be desperately cultivated in an age of information overload, hyper connectivity and exponential technological progress, where each day seemingly blurs into the next, amidst a constant scrolling of news feeds.
We are becoming generalists to the extreme of knowing nothing about everything, as opposed to having a focussed and deliberate understanding of a small number of selected fields.
My goal, by authoring this space, is to help to show examples of how you can apply the concept of ‘what is greater than how’ to individual pursuits, hobbies, skills, endeavours, and enquiry into psychological, philosophical and spiritual thought. It is a very individualistic, pragmatic and consequentialist approach to life.
On inspection this appears to be a very selfish life philosophy. However, only once ‘the self is sorted’ and one’s personal output is maximised, can attention be turned to effective selflessness, and to solving other’s, team and the world’s problems.
Above all, this space is also one which I will be using to capture, clarify, distil and articulate my thoughts into words, which I hope is as beneficial for you as it is for me!