How much will you optimize?

Every efficiency geek worth his/her salt knows that it’s easy to ignore the overheads that come with creating efficient system. Efficiency is best applied to things and, to a certain extent, to help hack human productivity. A focus on optimization, however, comes with a big downside – it’s very easy to lose focus on the real goal.

For instance, you could spend a lifetime trying to travel cheap – hack mileage and hotel programs, couch surf at a different place every day of the week, bookmark websites that watch airfares, etc. It’s great if this sort of stuff gets you energized. But, if the purpose is just to be able to afford travel, then it might be better to spend all that time getting to a job that pays you more.

All of a sudden, you can throw away all that travel related overhead and focus on what really matters – acquire skills that people want to pay you for!

It’s all about getting to the right question. And optimization tends to assume the role of the default answer once we set down the path.

It isn’t the case, of course.