We of the tech-culture elite tend to obsess about efficiency. Those with the worst form of the disease can experience genuine anxiety when a task isn’t performed in the most efficient way possible. Unfortunately, this obsession can lead to a deep feeling of dissatisfaction. Sharpening tools can only only grant so much happiness; eventually you’ll have to build something.
The problem is one of perspective. We’ve lost sight of the actual purpose of efficiency. That purpose is to make things — to improve things — to create.
That output can be most anything — writing, programming, teaching — whatever it is that benefits from your internal improvements. The key is that you have to do something with that knowledge.
A single balance should be kept in mind here: optimization vs. creation. We should spend x amount of time improving ourselves, and then spend y amount of time actually making something. What that ratio is for each of us will obviously vary, but we can never forget how important that second step actually is.
Those who do forget this are stuck in perpetual optimization mode, and they feel lost. They read hundreds of books on how to write, but never get started on their own stuff. They watch a million cooking shows and never make any food. Remember that the point of efficiency and self-improvement is to raise the quality of your output — which requires that you actually create output.
They key to breaking the obsession and becoming more happy is to stop practicing for some big project in the future. Just find a project and dive in.: