March 5, 2021

What’s So Wrong With Being Efficient?

When I think about what I used to see…
It does raise a smile of wonder.

Bright, talented young things (well, in their 20s and 30s) striding confidently down the City streets, grabbing multi-tasking breaks from their Upward-Moving, Money-Aspiring Careers.
Their Filofax personal organisers hermetically sealed to their hands. (Just like mobile phones today.)

It was a status symbol of the Young Upwardly-Mobile (Yuppie: pretend you don’t remember that!)
If your life wasn’t Filofax-organised.
Then your life clearly wasn’t efficient.
Which means, your life was probably in a mess!

No, honestly. They were serious!
That was the pervading thinking of the day.

Efficiency, Task-Management and Wealth-Creation was the New Religion.
Filofaxes the sacred symbol.
But then, each generation does have their moment of madness.

I thought that I was well above that kind of mentality…
when I fell in love with the Franklin Day Planner.
”Much more emotionally and spiritually balanced. You know – ‘grounded’.” I said to myself.

Until, not long after we were married, Wendy said to me:
“If I ever see myself as a project or task in your Day Planner… you’re dead!”


Of course, today, we’re well past that, aren’t we?

I mean we don’t treat relationships and people like tasks or projects.
No, no! Not us!

As Stephen R Covey once asked:
“Have you ever tried to be efficient with a teenager on a jugular issue? Good luck with that!”

Our clients aren’t tasks or projects.
Things to be dealt with – project managed – efficiently.

Neither are our colleagues; our team.

Nor indeed our family; those we love.

Each approaches us as a deep human relationship.
Each carrying joys and woes, unmet aspirations and hidden heartaches, glorious talents and some failure.

The question is, are we prepared to set aside – for a moment – our all-consuming To Do Lists, Goals and Objectives…
In order to be a lifting influence in their lives?


What d’you think?
Could you and I do that?
Even without our efficiently-organised, my-whole-life-in-one-place mobile phones to hand?