Without doubt, a false dichotomy, but this promises to be
entertaining at the very least. Any synthesis will be a helpful
contrast to the still all-too-prevalent notion that drudgery in and of
itself is good for the soul.
Like Frank, I start with a bias in favor of Fred's position as part of
my personal cursade to rid the world of busywork. It reminds me
of an incident during a college summer job over 30 years ago. I had
been hired as a “material accounting clerk” and my job was to spend
each day poring through three-inch thick stacks of greenbar computer
paper containing inventory control reports. I was looking for line
items with zero items in inventory but cost still on the books and
filling out forms to process write-offs. This was one of those seminal
moments that convinced me that I had no future in accounting.
For all that drudgery I could at least understand that this was a job
with some purpose. The incident that truly pissed me off was when my
supervisor handed me a handwritten sheet of numbers and asked me to
calculate the mean and standard deviation (with an adding machine and
slide rule). When I was done I brought the results to my supervisor and
asked what they were going to be used for. His response? He didn't need
the results for any purpose. He knew I was a statisics major and
figured I would enjoy doing the calculations just for fun! This was a
supervisor who believed in the virtue of work for its own sake and a
lesson to ask the right questions before doing what I was told.
— Is productivity rooted in intensity and effort or in laziness and
efficiency? Obviously a false dichotomy, but a potentially entertaining
one. To that end, Slacker Manager has organized a “blog showdown”
between proponents of each of the sides of the productivity coin.
“Welcome to Day 1 of a 3-day
'Productivity Blog Showdown.' If you're just joining us, here's the
quick background of what's going on. A few days ago, I noted that I'd
like to see a 'showdown' between two upcoming gurus of personal
productivity, Fred Gratzon and Steve Pavlina [who I've pointed to recently in my GTD mode – FP]. Both guys agreed to do the showdown, we collected some questions from readers, and here we are.”
since throughout my career, I've always thought that the best
Industrial Engineer is a lazy Industrial Engineer, who ardently avoids
Efficiency is just politically correct laziness. (Laziness is the mother of efficiency?)
And productivity comes from applying efficiency to the things that need
to be done to achieve one's goals. And avoiding the things that don't
need to be done. There is no honor in putting in 12 hours a day if you
can get done what needs to be done in 10, or even 8.
I guess I know what side of the showdown I'm starting on. Let's see if Steve and Fred can turn the showdown into a synthesis. [Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Blog]