The law of least effort addresses a truth that concerns almost all of us, out of sheer common sense. She says that when something can be done in different ways, the best option is always the one involving the least expenditure of energy. Why ? Because it is more efficient, this is what allows us to obtain the same result while minimizing the efforts to be produced.
Effort is an attribute that gives more value, objective and subjective, to projects. A gemstone is more valuable because it is rarer, therefore, it takes a lot of effort to find it. An achieved objective is more valued when it implicitly implies the overcoming of major obstacles. So, in principle, we can say that we agree that effort is a positive and commendable value.
However, more effort does not necessarily lead to better results. You can do bookkeeping by hand. Add, subtract and do all the operations using mental arithmetic. The same result is obtained with software in much less time and with a higher guarantee of freedom from errors. In this case, the amount of effort expended is not proportional to the results obtained. In fact, in the first case, there was a waste of energy.
The law of least effort does not attempt to eliminate difficulty, nor does it encourage us to ensure that we choose only easy tasks. The process centers on finding a way to reduce the effort required to reach a goal. Let’s see this in more detail.
1) Obstacles and the law of least effort
Closely related to the law of least effort is giving up control and letting it all flow. Some may think that this is an approach that overly glorifies the relaxed or carefree attitude, but it is not. It is one thing to seek the easiest path, and it is quite another to be careless or irresponsible.
In the end, it is about adopting a new position in the face of obstacles. The difficulties are there. We find them in the majority of everyday tasks. Sometimes we put in tremendous effort, and despite that, things don’t go the way we would have liked. We feel annoyed with all there is to do, and each time committing our will to it costs us more.
The obsessive attitude towards work easily leads us to stress and then to blockage. It is at this point that we must debate between total resistance to continuing to work and the obligation to do so. The amount of emotional energy that we use in this debate is so important that we end up completely tired, and at the same time our results are not the best.
From this stage to constant frustration, there is only one step. What we do is not proportional to what we get. We struggle a lot to focus on those work commitments that end up annoying us. Despite this, we must fulfill them with responsibility. It is at this point that one of the principles of the law of least effort takes on its full validity: productivity does not depend on the amount of energy we invest, but on the clarity and inspiration that guides them. actions.
2) Inspiration and productivity
The law of least effort indicates that in principle what is easy should be valued as good. It also evokes the fact that less is more and that “good” is enough. In other words, the simplest paths, which involve the least effort, are the best. Thus, the law insists that in some cases, a less perfectionist attitude can potentially lead us to achieve better results.
There are a lot of ways of doing things, but we are not always aware of this. Sometimes we don’t even know which method we are using. Perhaps we are developing the activities as we have seen others do, or as someone has told us we need to do them. But we didn’t stop for a few seconds to find out if, in reality, the path we are taking is the best to reach the goal.
The Law of Least Effort says that if you find yourself feeling annoyed, blocked, or exhausted with an activity, do not continue with it. Your body and mind are screaming at you to stop. You have come to the point of doing the tasks mechanically and you are paying the price. By staying calm, doing nothing, or taking a short break, you induce a schema change.
It’s high time you did something to recharge your batteries. Something rewarding that allows you to put yourself in a different perspective. Then what follows is to reflect on how you meet your commitments. Is there an easier way to respect them? Are there any non-essential steps you could remove? Think of five different ways to do the same thing. Evaluate. Ask. Let your creativity flow. Allow the inspiration to flow and you will see how better, and most importantly, easier methods will arise.
3) The mind must find the way to flow
We agree that a fluid mind is more efficient and saves a lot of effort. What a lot of times we don’t know is how to get that mind to be more fluid. According to the principles of the Law of Least Effort, five conditions must be met for this to happen. They are as follows:
- Work within yourself to complain less and stop accusing others.
- Do not try to change a situation, rather try to accept it, striving to understand it.
- Try to view your problem as if you were the spectator and not the protagonist.
- Open your mind and be open to new options and new paths.
- Work to find new answers and solutions, until an answer emerges that really motivates you to take action.
Stubborn resistance to accepting solutions only helps block you. Complaining, accusing others and rejecting reality are forms of resistance. When we manage to overcome this rejection and change the pattern, we take the decisive step that will allow the mind to begin to fluidize. This facilitates the emergence of inspiration, with all its creative force.
4) Most important: enjoy
When we enjoy what we do, that’s the rule, we get better results. It’s obvious. We put more persistence into what captures our attention and interest. It is a profit to dedicate ourselves to this. Time is running out and making an extra effort is not a problem because everything is better. We are sinking.
Is there really a way to connect a profit from bonds? There is always some way of activity in the game. Suppose what we need to do is something boring and mechanical, like putting 500 tedious readings into a database. What if we try to compete with ourselves? Keeping track of time and repeatedly improving our own record.
Science has said that working on tasks that seem completely tedious to us for 20 minute periods is one way to help us accomplish them. When the time is up, we take a break, we give time to rest. And then we repeat the cycle. Have you tried to do it? Give it a try and you will see how much less mistakes you make.
In conclusion: be flexible
Putting into practice the law of least effort so that our investment is beneficial is a matter of intelligence. A good part of our activities is developing in a dynamic in which inertia takes precedence. We wonder on rare occasions whether routine procedures offering good results could have an even more effective alternative.
Thus, some of our “expensive” routines are gradually turning into a straitjacket. They do not only condition our actions, but also, and most importantly, our thinking. Without realizing it, we end up living from rigid patterns in which we feel like we are locked up. This is when the law of least effort can help us choose the most constructive and effective paths.
What is valuable about this perspective is that it is focused on creativity and profit. We can also introduce habits that allow us to be more imaginative and to think more about our own well-being. Choosing the easiest path makes us better and allows us to achieve more remarkable results.