Efficiency

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I learned efficiency from my granddad. Ah, I was so young. I was cutting this piece of wood, and I was ploughing through it. He was trying to show me how to do something, and I just knew so much.

He put his hand on my shoulder, and I stopped cutting. He said, "Mark, you're doing a great job cutting that piece of wood." He said, "Just one thing I'd suggest. When you're cutting, your tongue, it's out the side of your mouth like this." He goes, "It doesn't need to be." I was looking at him going, "Oh yeah." Then I just realised it was completely unnecessary.

Then about 15 years later I'm taking swimming lessons from the Australian swimming coach Ian Pope. He coached Hackett and Klim and Matt Welsh and these big names, Mareike Gurrer, Matt Target, you know, some of Australia's best swimmers.

I was taking swimming lessons, and he pointed out quite a few things that I was incompetent at. However, one of the ones he mentioned, he said, "Mark, when your arm is coming through during freestyle," he said, "there's so much tension in that arm." He said, "You're just burning up energy that you just don't need to. It should be loose out of the water, and when it goes in the water you want to use all your effort then."

Once again I'm going, wow, so much of our energy is bleeding into things that just don't matter. Since then I've learned that most things don't matter. Like most of the emails we do, most of the boxes we tick, most of the pieces of paper, someone invented them, either us or someone else, and they're not directly linked. There's no direct correlation between that task and what we're really trying to achieve.

I just keep laughing at those two examples. Every time I'm working on something and I'm getting burnt out, I'm going, "You know what? If I'm getting burnt out, I'm probably just not putting the effort into the right areas." It's kind of like trying to leave this room that way. That's a wall. There's a door. It's a smarter option.

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