The 20/80 rule
I went out to see the latest kiddie movie with my family the other night. It was Teen Titans Go and if you have ever enjoyed any of the TV episodes then you will feel right at home. My assessment of it, to put it mildly, is that it was exactly as the internet is calling it, an animated Deadpool copy with a PG rating.
What stuck in my mind, besides always thinking of boobies, was one of the trailers that had been shown just before the movie. It was Christopher Robin, the latest Winnie the Pooh sequel from Disney. From the trailer, I couldn’t but help catch a line of dialogue that went something like ‘Nothing is impossible, I do nothing every day’.
So this begs the question, at what point is something good enough and by whose measure? Personally, when feasible and practical, I try not to exceed the 20%-80% rule (**when it isn’t critical).
I mean I could spend an extra ten minutes prewashing all my dishes before loading them into the dishwasher… or I could just set aside those few dishes that didn’t get clean enough aside upon unloading a finished cycle. Yes the grime on them will typically be stuck on but I’ve found that by simply submerging the trouble spot and allowing them to bask will work wonders. The next time I load the washer, I just pull out my scrubby pad and with a few quick swipes, get those stubborn spots to come free.
20% of the initial effort is able to get done about 80% of the initial problem. Yes, the last 20% of the stubborn stuff required another 20% of effort but you still get the idea. I could have spent the remaining 80% in elbow grease getting the job completed initially but let’s be honest, don’t we all have better things to do with our time?
So… lazy or efficient?
Am I mastering the problem or am I letting the problem control time that could be spent on other things? I mean think of all the diabolical things I can do with that leftover 60%? I could help save a life and donate a pint of blood. I could conspire with my peers and build a stronger relationship, thus improving our mutual work environment. I could spend the time brushing up some of my skills or learning new ones.
Are idle hands something-something-something of the devil?
What about having too much time and feeling the need to fill it with intrusive snooping? I had a former supervisor go through my workstation and take notes so that she could find dirt on me. The sad lady thought she could find stuff to use against me. It ended up biting her in the ass but that’s another story.
Lost opportunities is the real crime here. Not being able to expand one’s horizon and accept that there are alternatives, some even being viable, to getting things done. Yes, some people have strange rituals that actually hurt efficiency but you have to consider how much of it is actually detrimental or just irritating? Are they really harming the big picture? Is listening to music ‘going to hurt workflow’ or just ‘another’ excuse to be a bitch?
We know the truth. Now go ahead and pack up… oh… Am I too late?
DING DONG! The Dwight is Gone!