Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why Efficiency Isn't Always the Best Way

Why Efficiency Isn't Always the Best Way
Is efficiency the best measurement of how to do something? Are there other factors besides the mechanics behind the task? Human factors? Mindset, perhaps?

Time and motion studies have been around for a very long time. But most of us don't relate to them when we're in the middle of doing a task. Most of us just carry on, doing the job in the way we know best.

But if someone came along and suddenly told us we'd been doing it wrong, and that there's a better more efficient way to do it, I'm sure it would ruffle a few feathers. After all, most of us are creatures of habit. Not to mention that when it comes to doing a task, time and motion studies do not take into account the human factor. Or the mind set.

An argument I had with a friend many years ago challenged his scientific assumption that the 3-step approach to bowling 5-pin was not only the most efficient, but also yielded the best results overall. And that I should change my 4-step approach in order to achieve my highest possible potential.

I'm somewhat rebellious. Less so than I used to be. I've done some growing over the years. But when someone tells me I'm doing something wrong when I'm comfortable doing what I'm doing...then rebellious is my middle name. Especially when I've tried other methods that didn't work so well for me.

I promptly told him that all the T & M studies in the world wouldn't convince me that for me personally (no one else, just me) using the 4-step approach put me at some type of disadvantage. I'd tried the 3-step, but my performance improved dramatically when I went to 4 steps.

He went on about how I had to change, not only my footing, but also the timing with my arm, adjust my shoulders, and how I held the ball etc etc to achieve the best results.

Why on earth would I change all those things in order to fulfill someone elses belief, studied or not, about how I wasn't reaching my full potential? There is an individuality factor involved. One that is decidedly human. Not everyone does their best work using T & M studies of efficiency. There is a whole lot more than just the mechanics of doing any kind of ask.

Eventually, my friend conceded. But since I wouldn't change my perspective, I suspect it was more about ending the argument than it was being convinced of what I was saying.

And now, even after all these years, I still maintain that we must take into account the individual, not just the technology.

Don't let others tell you what to do or how to do it when you're comfortable doing what you do. This doesn't mean that you can't be open to suggestions or other ways of doing things.

I'm not saying that you should be stubborn about it. I'm saying that you should be discerning about the information you get.

And that goes double for when you delegate a job.

If you ask your hubby to do a job around the house, don't be all over him, telling him how it must be or should be done. Give him the freedom to do it his way. PERSONAL NOTE: I'm still working on this one.

So why is it that efficiency isn't always the best way? If you can't let go of the need to control how it's done, then you'll end up doing it all yourself. In the words of Dr Phil: "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?"
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1 comment:

  1. Speaking on behalf of Hubbies, we do no purposely do it the "wrong way" just so we don't have to do it ever again. Honest.


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