“Be as efficient as possible!” they say. “Oh, but don’t rush.” “Don’t waste time trying to be perfect!” “But measure twice and cut once.” There is a difference between rushing and being efficient, but it can be difficult to figure out when you’re in the middle of a busy day. I was abruptly reminded of the difference this week…
My Breakfast Disaster
A few days ago, I was trying to get out the door as quickly as possible so I threw a breakfast sandwich in the microwave while I made my coffee (efficient.) Then, while grabbing all my stuff with one arm, I hastily shoved the sandwich in my mouth before I gave it time to cool (rushing.)
I immediately spit the sandwich out with a yelp of pain. A stray piece of overheated cheese had seared my bottom lip. As I held an ice pack on my poor blistered lip, I had a lot of time to ponder the difference between rushing and being efficient.
When we rush, the end product tends to suffer. We neglect key components and complete our work sloppily. This results in even more work later as we try to cover up for our hasty mistakes (or facial burns as the case may be!)
Accurate, not Perfect
While rushing makes us careless, being TOO careful can be just as damaging to our schedule. When we’re efficient, we make sure things are accurate without wasting time striving for the impossible level of perfection.
Being efficient is the perfect balance between doing something carefully, accurately, and as quickly as possible. It’s important to note that “as quickly as possible” might be relatively slowly, depending on the task, so we can’t measure all items on our to-do lists equally.
Don’t let a silly mistake derail your day because you tried to rush through something that simply required more time.
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