optimizing for the shortest path

There are multiple paths to completing most objectives. 

Whether it’s making a point clear to someone, learning a subject, or solving a problem — there exists arguably a maximally efficient way to do it, a minimally efficient way to do it, and gradients in between. 

It seems reasonable to suggest that one way to become significantly more efficient overall is to approach each effort with the same question: “what is the shortest path I can take to accomplish this in a way that I will be okay with?”

This is in contrast to the conventional advice, “have a bias towards action”, which seems to suggest that productivity is always proportional to the amount of effort you give. 

This is only sometimes true, though.

When your approach is in inefficient, your output per unit of effort is limited. You could work really hard and still end up producing surprisingly little. 

When your approach is efficient and your output per unit of effort is maximized, you can produce a surprising amount with relatively little effort. 

Life is precious and therefore time is precious. 

To make the most out of it, audit the projects in your life today, figure out if you’re taking the most efficient path, and find a way to get feedback on your efforts either through an objective measurement or feedback from a trusted peer or advisor. 

Understanding how to do something well generally doesn’t fall into your lap, but rather through rigorous inquiries and processes.