Friday, April 11, 2008

Efficiency

I came across some information that defined efficiency as a comparison of the useful work energy provided by a system to the work energy applied to the system. In order to find out how efficient the system is you simply divide energy output into energy input and multiply it by 100. How we can all understand this simply is to think about caloric intake. Take in 2000 calories (energy input) and burn 2500 calories (energy output) and you will lose weight due to a caloric deficit, therefore receiving a positive benefit from your work.

What intrigued me about this information is not its relation to diet and exercise, but how it relates to us in life. We are all searching for balance in our lives between what we have to do and what we want to do, and for the most part the have to do’s receive much more time than the want to do’s. In essence our energy input far exceeds our energy output, and we constantly remind everyone how busy we are and how we don’t have the time to do XY&Z right now even though we would like to.

Two other facts that I came across will allow us to better understand why we continue to work harder and receive less are 1) the parts of a system and how they are connected together will affect the systems efficiency, and 2) other forces such as friction will affect an objects movement.

The first fact directly relates to our ability to lead ourselves, others, or both. When our connections are unbalanced or disconnected we are forced to put more effort into areas we have either neglected or ignored and therefore are not as efficient as we can be. When we put too much effort into our work and neglect our social, familial, or personal spheres we will be faced with situations where we will have to make up time in a schedule that we have already maxed out in our professional sphere. Relationships with friends, family, and ourselves will suffer and our ability to efficiently lead our lives will diminish.

Fact two is directly related to fact one because by neglecting certain spheres in our lives we are creating friction with people who are in those spheres therefore negatively affecting our ability to create efficient movement. Returning late from work every night will only upset the people in our social and familial spheres while causing us to neglect the personal activities that help balance us out. The friction caused by our inability to efficiently lead one sphere in our lives will have a negative effect on the other spheres.

If we are to be truly efficient, we must work in a way where our energy output is equal to or greater than our energy input. When we can do this we will have the time to balance out the many spheres we rely on to keep us grounded and have time to do what we want to do because we have efficiently taken care of what we had to do.

If we are to reach true efficiency we need to make sure that we understand that life is about relationships and people first so that we can make sure we are giving people the amount of attention we need to thrive. Secondly, we must understand that we are all leaders and leadership is defined by our ability to make decisions that will ultimately positively affect our bottom line. The bottom line for all of us is quality of life, and if we are to gain the greatest quality then we must be willing to efficiently balance out the many spheres that make up us. We must be able to be the efficient system that usefully provides the same amount of energy it applies.

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