I’m in my car heading home for the evening. I’ve got two options:
- A shorter route, but it always has some degree of fairly bad traffic.
- A much longer route, which rarely has traffic, and the traffic is never as bad as the first route.
Which route should I take?
I recognize the fact that this sounds a lot like a highschool math problem: Two trains traveling 150mph and 180mph are heading towards each other…
But let’s jump right to the point.
Typically I take the first route.
“Why, Ben, why? Being stuck in traffic is a horrible waste of time!”
While traffic can be maddening, the reality is that more often than not, even with fairly bad traffic, the shorter route is faster. And the longer route can still have some traffic, doubling its ineffectiveness.
And this is not about the proverbial turtle winning the race…it’s about spinning your wheels vs. doing what works.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners are famous (or infamous?) for their work ethic. Work, work, work, work, work. The more we work, the more we’ll succeed right?
Maybe, but not always. It’s not uncommon to see entrepreneurs and small business owners doing work that’s not adding enough value, either work that should be delegated so they can focus on what they’re best at, or work that just doesn’t need doing.
Working for the sake of working, because you believe the more work you do, the more likely you’ll succeed, will leave you over worked, exhausted and ineffective when it comes time to really do something important.
On the second route, my car is almost always moving forward at a good pace, but I’m not really making any more progress than the first route, which is stop-and-go. And in fact, I’m making less progress and taking longer doing it.
Photo by Daniel Brennwald at Flickr.
[tags]productivity, small business, entrepreneurship, business success[/tags]