Finding meaning beyond ‘Operational Efficiency’

I am currently on a sabbatical of sorts, the idea is to take out time for myself and family and possibly to undertake some self-introspection of life in the past couple of years and defining purpose for coming time.

In terms of professional work, I have less than a decade’s experience and in full-time house work avatar only a week, but I see some common threads emerge across the two. In the initial phases in both cases I have found there is much that keeps one engaged – new situations, where you predictably flounder and some where you surprisingly succeed. There is a journey of self discovery, things that you do well, those that you don’t, processes and means to improve upon the latter. Over a period of time, there are a set series of situations that seem to emerge, only the skin changes but at the core the issues are the same. We naturally learn to adapt, adopt and create unconsciously a series of template responses to these issues.

The closest example that comes to mind is of channels on TV (we got a set-top box installed today). Initially, there are 300-400 odd channels and there is no way to remember which one plays in what sequence, one needs to continuously surf back and forth.  However it is easiest to remember where the favourite channel plays and over a period of time most of them (even ones that you don’t care about)

Hence, once you have been through the circuit a couple of times, you know the drill, from this point it’s about (in a loose usage of the wordJ ) operational efficiency. Ensuring you do it clinically, consistently, less time to achieve more etc. From this point, the actual task matters less; the efficiency of its delivery is the key. To use a cliché, romantic discovery fades and are replaced by daily rituals of marriage.

I am at this point where I wish I could find meaning beyond doing the same thing well repeatedly. I don’t wish to be just busy anymore (like the saying goes, ‘It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants’). I had imagined being away from 9-5 professional work would give reprieve from seeking efficiencies only to realize that home work is about attaining efficiencies of a different kind.

About amita

Professional trajectory - Literature. Public Relations. Social Media. Personal - learning to cook, hopefully drive, figure whether to renew HBR and discipline myself into focusing on important and not urgent.
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