Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Efficiency Addict

I have a confession. I am an efficiency addict! I love to find ways to make just about anything more effective and efficient. Even when I'm in line at the grocery store, observing the checkout person, I assess their movements and process and find ways that they could be quicker and more accurate. It's a gift... and a curse all at the same time.

Back in my software days, I once designed a new software system for a medium sized business and within 1 month of implementing my new system - their administrative staff was running out of work to do by noon every day!! The system I designed cut their administrative work load by 50%! That's my idea of heaven!! I love making order out of chaos, and turning inefficient processes into efficient things of beauty!

This NEED that I have, however, can be problematic. When I encounter inefficiency, I become extremely impatient. When I'm driving in traffic, for example, I'm known to talk to other drivers who are moving too slowly for me. :) Even if someone else is driving, I'm apt to give 'suggestions' as to how to be more expedient! That is one of my most popular personality traits! HA! HA!!

So in my second round of clipping down perennial grasses (I wrote about this yesterday), I decided to try a little experiment. In the interest of protecting my 'tender tendon' I decided to do some of the pruning with my left (non-dominant) hand. This would not only 'spare' my right arm, but it could teach me about accepting a 'less than efficient' performance level!

Sometimes I have trouble just relaxing and enjoying an activity for it's own sake. If I'm not being productive and efficient, I feel like I'm 'wasting' time.

My experiment with 'non-dominant hand clipping' was an excursion into performing at a diminished capacity... and letting that be OK.

I do these little things, from time to time, to challenge my entrenched ways of doing things. It's good to 'shake things up' once in a while and do something completely out of character (if you've read my blogs for awhile you read about the experience I had of going to the movie theater with my mom... wearing matching pajamas!). Sometimes you just need to DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY and break out of your ruts and routines.

I did about 20% of my day's grass clipping work with my left, non-dominant, hand. It was more than a little awkward.... and more than a little frustrating! But, I did it. I let myself experience all of that, and realize that a little inefficiency doesn't hurt. In fact, it is a challenge and keeps things interesting!

Doing things differently from time to time is a really great way to shake your 'certainties.' Give it a try!!

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