I strive to be very efficient with my work, and I share that on here quite a bit with nearly 200 posts in the “productivity” category. At times, though, being inefficient on purpose can be a good thing.
The first is one that I’ve shared a few times, and that’s the process of a weekly preview and duplicating your calendar. Keeping a secondary, manual copy of your calendar is not an efficient thing to do, but the benefits are fantastic. I’m happy with that inefficiency.
The other has to do with how your company operates, and was a focus of the 2Bobs podcast a few months back.
Generally speaking, newer companies are more innovative than more established companies, and for one big reason — efficiency. As a company grows, they work on streamlining efficiency more and more, and hire people specifically for that task. It’s great on paper, but it’s missing one key point; innovation comes from inefficiency.
You’ve seen this happen. When someone is designing a logo, they’ll think about ideas, sketch various thoughts on paper (and throw most of them away), and really work through a lot of bad ideas to get to the good. This is wildly inefficient, but it’s the best way to allow for creativity. To make it more efficient, you need to reduce creativity, and larger companies are often willing to make that trade. For most of us, that’s a bad trade to make.
I’m not suggesting that you become inefficient with your entire business, but there are places where “making it more efficient” is also making it worse. Be efficient where you can, but don’t feel like you need to do it everywhere.