Efficiency is an Excuse to Not Do the Actual Work

This was originally published in my newsletter, How It Actually Works

If you’re trying to do something efficiently you’re probably stalling.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil for engineers, but it’s also an excuse that prevents progress in personal goals.

Looking for efficiency in daily life is similar to seeking “the best way” of doing something.

And it’s insidious because the logic isn’t all that bad…

“If I’m going to try and lose weight, I might as well do it in the best and most efficient way possible, right?”

Wrong!

You need momentum. You need progress. You need forward movement happening right now.

The importance of morale is vastly underestimated.

”I want to lose weight, what are the best exercises to do?”

Get down RIGHT THIS SECOND and start doing push ups. Go for a run in whatever clothes you already own.

”I want to start a SaaS business, what stack should I use?”

Pick up the phone and call 10 potential customers to see if they want the thing.

”There might be a parking space closer to the entrance, I’ll keep looking”

There’s tons of parking 50 feet back, pick a spot and just walk.

”I want to sell an online course. What’s the best way to make a website?”
Send 5 emails right now to the first 5 people you can think of who might need this. Do not write templates – bang out the email and hit send. If they actually need the product they won’t care about typos.

”I want to be a photographer, I wonder what gear I should buy.”

Use your iPhone.

So much “work” is merely distracting ourselves from the reality: we have no customers, we don’t know what people want, we don’t have a sales channel, and on and on.

This was originally published in my newsletter, How It Actually Works