Thursday, July 5, 2012

Efficient vs. Expedient

In this corner, wearing the blue trunks, we have Efficient.
  • performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort; having and using requisite knowledge, skill, and industry; competent; capable

In the opposite corner, wearing the lovely pink paisley trunks, we have Expedient.
  • fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances
Efficient is of course the desired method for doing anything.  Efficient organizers and tidy upperers would gather all like items together before putting them away.  Efficiency experts desire a world where no action is wasted. 

  • Hypothetically your desk is piled with stuff from all over the house.  You have dishes, a couple of magazines, a pair of socks (?) a dog training collar, TV remote, and AA battery.  The rest of your office (I mean "Studio") has books, kitchen towels, a pair of gloves, a pair of slacks, and copious toys brought in by a seven year old. 

  • Say hypothetically "I " were the "you" described above.  If I were efficient, I would gather and group together all the kitchen items, all the bedroom items, all the toys, and the rest of the miscellany.  I would then make one trip around the house, returning these things to their proper place as I go.  Maybe even humming a little tune..."la la la, look at me, calmly putting things away as if I have nothing else to do today la la la."
If we could return to reality for a moment, and leave June Cleaver out of this post.  (I do have pearls, but I don't wear them unless my handsome husband is taking me out somewhere "pearl worthy.")

Expedient is the method I generally employ.  Expedient gets it done...eventually.  Let's go back to the studio. 
  • first I say to myself..."how on earth did this room become such a trash heap?"  Then I start in one corner of the room.  Low hanging fruit first.  Garbage goes into the (wait for it) garbage can.  I gather up all the dishes, take them to the kitchen, and put them in the dishwasher.  (rule #1.  Don't make a mess somewhere else)  "Oh look, there's my calendar.  Why, that belongs in the studio...."
  • I put the calendar away, then grab some more low hanging fruit.  The socks and the slacks.  I take those upstairs.  "oh look, there's the receipts David emptied from his pockets. Why those belong in the office...(I mean "Studio")" 
  • I see the seven year old on the way back downstairs.  I tell her she needs to pick up her toys in my "studio."  "The what?" she replies.  I clarify, "My office."  "All of the toys?!," she asks.  "Only the ones you want to keep." I tell her. 
By following this method, when I inevitably have to abandon ship to
  1. Fix dinner
  2. Go to physical therapy for my arthritic neck
  3. put out any number of fires
I haven't made a bigger mess, which who knows when I'll be able to get back to and will be tripping over in the meantime.  Which is what used to happen, because for years I was convinced that Efficient was the only way to go. 

 And the winner, by TKO, is Expedient !!!

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