Efficiency vs Hard Work

Interesting piece here in the NYT — Japan Squeezes to Get the Most of Costly Fuel:

Even though Japan is already among the most frugal countries in the world, the government
recently introduced a national campaign, urging the Japanese to replace their older appliances
and buy hybrid vehicles, all part of a patriotic effort to save energy and fight global warming.

Man, these guys just never stop with the efficiency thing, ya know? My goodness. How far can they go with all this? Very far. I’ll tell ya, I’ve gotten quite a lesson in Japanese efficiency the last couple of years from my wife — who is Japanese, of course, and pretty traditional at that. Every day I’m absolutely amazed by this phenomenon and how deeply it pervades Japanese thought. I need to learn this because for my entire life I’ve made up for my lack of efficiency with hard work and long hours — a strategy that my five week-old just blew clean out of the water with laser beam precision. And some  loud, prolonged screaming, too. She’s already pretty efficient, actually.

So, efficiency good … hard work and long hours bad. That’s my new sutra, and I repeat it all day every day. And I’m already improving. Hey, you should see me swaddle! I think about this stuff — yes, swaddling — when I’m wasting energy on some idiotic, time-sucking thing that I simply never saw before. What a perspective change I’m going through. And work at Sun looks very, very different to me now. I can’t believe how much time I waste every day on things that simply don’t matter. Not even for cheap appearance purposes, too. Just pure waste. Dumb. Big changes already in the works. How far am I going to take this? Very far.

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2 thoughts on “Efficiency vs Hard Work

  1. The real contrast is between efficiency and effectiveness. Effectiveness is about resonance with one’s purpose. Efficiency is about optimal expenditure of resources for a given task. Whether that tasks resonates with one’s purpose is a different issue. So, I wonder whether you’re confusing these two things—efficiency and effectiveness, or could it be that Asian’s are simply better in getting a grip on better purposes? Just wondering (perhaps, because, I think hard work can never be bad but I agree it can be a waste).

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  2. Will you start bicycling to the job?
    I’m working on a ‘global’ (metro) bicycle design.
    Just finished an efficient motor vehicle project for a ‘known’ American company, expect production ware later this year.
    Did you think I only work on innovative IT products? LIMITING!

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