The Three Inputs to Efficiency

Earlier this week I talked about goals or the outputs of the efficiency equation.  This post I will be talking about the inputs to the efficiency equation. There are two ways you improve efficiency over time: (1) to get more outputs with the same inputs and (2) to get the same outputs with less inputs.

Anything you do can be considered an input; thus, there are infinite inputs that can be examined. For the purpose of simplicity I’m going to categorize all inputs as either Time, Capital (Money), or Skill.  Inputs within each category have their limits.  For instance, there is only so much time, money, or skill an individual possesses.

Time: Every single person has 1,440 minutes to use every day. The people who make the best use of those limited minutes will reach their goals more easily than those who choose to waste that valuable time.

Capital: Unless you are like my hero Warren Buffet, you also have a limited amount of capital and money to deploy towards reaching your goals. Making sure that each dollar you have works as hard for you as you do for it is important to making your life efficient.

Skill: Skills are knowledge, techniques, or abilities we use to achieve our goals. We learn to use skills starting at a very young age. Supply and demand will determine how valuable your skills are in the open market. The more difficult and rarer your skills are the most valuable they will likely be.

I should also mention that these inputs are all linked to each other. TriangleYou can use money to buy additional time or skills. You can use your skills and time to earn capital. When evaluating whether you are becoming more efficient you need to look at the whole picture and not just one aspect. For example, if I want to reduce the amount of time it takes me to mow my lawn I could just hire a lawn maintenance service and reduce my total time spent; however, I would be paying a bill for the service, ignoring the money and capital aspect of inputs equation.

Don’t forget I’m giving away one copy of “The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement” to a randomly selected subscriber to my website. You have to be registered by 8 pm PST on Sunday to be eligible for the drawing. Add your name and email off to the right to be entered.