Efficiency is the Enemy

There’s a good chance most of the problems in your life and work come down to insufficient slack. Here’s how slack works and why you need more of it.

The articles proposes that being very efficiently – constantly doing work – is not necessarily the same as being effective. Furthermore, being so busy can actually work against you, since you don’t have any spear capacity or slack to respond to new opportunities.

It reminded my of Technical Debt Is Like Tetris. In the tetris metaphor, playing the game – while you have room to maneuver – is enjoyable, calm, and allows you to setup the board to reap the maximum points (removing 4 rows at once). When your board is almost full and you don’t have any space, playing feels stressful, panic sets in, and each piece is placed without much consideration. Even if you manage to last a long time, you won’t be making big plays.

In a similar vein, How to Think: The Skill You’ve Never Been Taught – published by in the same website – talks about improving thinking skills by making time to think.