DISCLAIMER for frequent readers of this blog:
I now work
for the Salvation Army in Indonesia and they asked me to
write an article from time to time in the Indonesian War Cry (the
Salvation Army magazine). I of course used my normal style of writing
and wrote about the thing I’ve written about here. Oh,
WIP, Lean and Kanban. But with a Christian twist and message.
So if you don’t want to read this, please stop now. I’ll soon come back
to my normal things. But if you want to please continue. Maybe there’s
something that you can use in here. Or not. As normal on this blog, I
use it to store my ideas and thoughts.
Here is the second of two short articles that I’ve written for the
Indonesian War Cry. You can read the first here. This article is about
Achieving more by doing less. I hope you like it.
Achieving more by doing less
In my last article I
talked about motivation and what motivates me. To sum it up it’s Jesus
loves to me that wants me to be the best I can be. To do the MOST
The last sentence in my article was, quite intentionally, a bit cryptic.
My goal is to do more by doing less.
Maybe “To achieve more by doing less” is a bit more to the point. Now I
will reveal what I meant by this.
Let’s play a game, you and I: Go get three pens of different colors and
a blank paper. You will also need a clock with a stop watch function
(most mobile phones have one).
The game is about writing letters and numbers in columns as fast as
possible; in the first column we will write capital letters A-J using a
red pen, the second have roman numbers I-X using a blue pen and in the
final column we will write normal numbers 1-10, using a black pen.
(You can of course have other colors if you like).
We want to get the time it takes to complete all three columns (the
total time) as well as the time for each individual column.
The first round I want you to do as much as possible at the same time,
attending to all the columns at the same time. So do the columns row by
row. Like this
A I 1
and then the next row:
B II 2
and then the next row:
C III 3
and so on until you reach
J X 10
As a special treat to you people reading this online I include this as
simulated exercise here:
simulation - less is more!
When you ready, start the timer and go as fast as you can. Remember to
time it takes to finish each column as well as the time it takes to
finish all three. Go!
When you're done you probably end up with times like these:
- Letter column completed after 1:20 min
- Roman numbers completed after 1:22 min
- Normal numbers completed after 1:24 min
- Total time: 1:24 min.
You probably felt that this was a very stupid way of working. And it was
stressful. And you probably dropped the pen, or wrote in the wrong color
a couple of times. I bet that you had a hard time remembering if 9 in
Roman numbers is VIII or something else.
So, let's do that again, but this time do the Letters first and when
you're finished with that do the Roman numbers and then the normal
numbers. As before time yourself for each individual column as well as
the total time. Go!
Done? Great, you probably ended up with a result like this:
- Letter column completed after 0:12 min
- Roman numbers completed after 0:14 min
- Normal numbers completed after 0:08 min
- Total time: 0:34 min.
What?! That's just 1/3 of the time? And the frist column was finished
after 12 seconds compared with 1:20 min in the first round.
In the process the quality is most certainly better, you didn't feel
stressed or had to flip around with the pens. And this time you got the
IX right for Roman number 9 (since we now have practiced).
So what is the difference here? It's the same paper, same endresult,
same pens and same you. The only difference is the number of things you
are doing at the same time.
I hear what you are thinking now:
> "Hrmf, dear article author, sir; shouldn't this have something to do
> with Christianity, the Salvation Army or Jesus? This sounds a bit more
> like a management book."
If you read my previous article
you remember that I think that we
should be the best we can be for Him. Doing the MOST good. That both
means that we want to optimize the value of our actions but also do less
of the things that isn't valueable.
What in our life could we stop doing, simply because it's not valueable?
Which of your "pens" could you put down?
Matt 6:34 -Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its
Matt 6:19-21 - Do not store up for yourselves
treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves
break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in
and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Proverbs 26:20 - Without wood a fire goes out;
without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
My own importance or position?
Matt 6:5 - And when you pray, do not be like the
hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the
street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have
received their reward in full.
These are the things that often blurs my focus on doing the MOST good.
But all of those pens can be put down. I don't need them. That's not
"doing the MOST good", now is it?
I think the Lord needs my time in better ways. I think he deserves my
focus on one thing at the time, trying to do the best I can and complete
it before I go on to the next thing.
What can you change in your life today that will help you to do the MOST
Which of your "pens" are you tired of and need to put down?
Which of your "columns" are worth your full attention before you go on
to the next?
God bless you in your strives to become more and more effective in doing
the MOST good.