My Secret Efficiency Hack

by Steven on March 10, 2013

…is to not be efficient at all.

I suggest “efficiency is the enemy of effectiveness.”

In a recent mastermind, the conversation turned into a sharing of keyboard shortcuts in Excel and Gmail.  This seems harmless: improving your ability to use these tools helps you get more out of them and free up time.

If you’re building a business that disconnects your time from money, is spending time on Excel hacks getting you where you want to be, or is it distracting you from the hard work in front of you?

A colleague wants to turn a lucrative freelance design business into something bigger, except he is among the most creative in his industry and won’t trust others to do work under his brand.  He can get faster at shortcuts but still only has 24 hours in a day, and he’s in such demand that he finds himself stressed by too much work.

He knows his business would fall apart tomorrow if he got sick, but he can’t let go of his own awesomeness.  He’s trapped himself with his own efficiency.

In conversation with the founder of a 15-person marketing agency, he lamented being unable to find someone to run the company and replace him: finding the line staff in Thailand/Philippines/Vietnam is easy enough, but finding the people with the skill set to manage and grow the company is hard.

If replacing you the genius CEO is impossible, perhaps you should design your company to be run by an idiot.

The best coffee in the world is probably in a small cafe you’ve never heard of because the barista is too busy making great coffee to share it with the world.  This is selfish.

Are you looking to build a great business or a great tiny product that never touches anyone?

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