The Potential State Podcast - Enriching Relationships

Stop Being Efficient in Your Relationships!

June 27, 2021 Dr. Assael and Galit Romanelli
The Potential State Podcast - Enriching Relationships
Stop Being Efficient in Your Relationships!
Show Notes Transcript

Are you (or your partner) super driven to be efficient?
Is it hard for you to lower your productivity and just be?
If so, you're not alone.

Efficiency is actually a wonderful trait but can also function as a defense mechanism. That is why we call it E-FISH-NET, a big (electronic) net that catches all of you and takes you hostage.

What is the solution?
To be more present, to do less things in more time, to be DIS(C)organized.
But how?

In this talk, we unpack the need to be efficient and its relational tolls through examples from our life and the clinic.
Practical tips will help you soften the need to be E-FISH-NET, and enjoy the moment more.

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Speaker 1:

I say , I think it's time that you shared your insight about efficiency and particularly how you came to coin at E fish net .

Speaker 2:

I love efficiency. Do you also love efficiency? Do you find yourself always trying to be more efficient and it's really hard for you just to stop and being the being, are you a human doer ? And if so, this talk is

Speaker 3:

You are listening to the potential state podcast with your hosts, Dr. ACEL and gullied Romanelli.

Speaker 2:

Hi, my name is Dr. Sarah Romanelli, and this is that satchel standards. They were talking about stop being efficient. It's too much work. So Western society loves efficiency. That's true. We're constantly looking for ways to streamline hack shortcut or ways to be able to do more. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Make things quicker, better, faster.

Speaker 2:

For me personally, it's super, super hard to stop. I'm always thinking about the next thing as we're even recording this, I'm thinking, okay, what else needs to be done? We have another one I want to record. And this multitasking is multi taxing. I love that it prevents it's draining. It's draining to always be in more places than one .

Speaker 1:

And it's also a fallacy, right? Because we can't really multitask. So what we're actually doing is we're not fully devoted to any one thing. We're just switching constantly, rather than completing a task from a to B finishing it, and then moving on to the next thing and moving on to the other ,

Speaker 2:

We're trying to do maximum and minimum, which basically means we're over we're over-relying on our frontal cortex and we're not, we don't have enough time to be in intuitive thinking or just to like kind of zone out, being our nothing box,

Speaker 1:

Creativity, imagination,

Speaker 2:

You know , and even just, you know, to, to be, to respond things or just to be just to hang out. So this, so it's kind of draining on the frontal cortex. We're doing maximum and minimum. We're not really present in what we're doing. And basically I call it the fish net because it's like a net it's like efficiency E stands for efficiency , but also stands for , uh , um , you know, electronics and all the gadgets that we have. It just kind of takes everything in. It grabs all of you and then the annual not present in the actual moment.

Speaker 1:

That's all we call it at our house because I think, I think that's part of what's important, right? Is that when you're, when you're, when you're efficient, there are times when it's really important to be efficient, right? When you need to kind of just , um, you know, not touch on the nothing box and you need to kind of prioritize and figure out, you know, what do you need to do first ? And how can you do as much as possible in the least amount of time, but you , I think the challenge is knowing how to switch it off. And, and sometimes, you know , uh , say it is like very passionate about efficiency and sometimes it's very hard for him to shut it off. And so we've made it a kind of playful, efficient net as kind of a , uh , play inducing code word that like, okay, this, this part of the day, or these next tasks don't need to be efficient, but how did you get to the term efficient? Because it's all consuming because when you're efficient, it's all consuming

Speaker 2:

Everything like those, those nets that want to catch tuna, but the catch dolphins and all the , all these rare species, like you try to stay efficient on one thing, but it takes everything away. Now what's the opposite of that. Okay. And that's what we have been trying to work on the past couple.

Speaker 1:

What everything can we just get clear ?

Speaker 2:

You're only

Speaker 1:

Thinking about the tasks and the tasks that wa that follow, rather than who you're with enjoying this moment . What is the, how are you showing up? How are you being present ? How, how is this task getting done rather than getting the task done? I don't think I understood. How is the task getting done rather than getting the task done? Yeah .

Speaker 2:

I think for me, it , it connects to enjoyment, right? Cause if I'm doing this talk and we're anything for the next thing I need to do the next project, the next talk, I'm not really fully enjoying this moment. Everything is like one long to do list. I remember a client who said everything in his life, all his friends and family, they're all like one long to do list it's a never ending to do with. So when do you stop? When do you actually enjoy yourself? When can you not be efficient? Right. Because we don't know, because the opposite of efficient is doing the minimum at the maximum, right. Is enjoying yourself maximum presence. So if maximum was efficiency in the beginning minute, men at max and then, you know, asterix and max is actually doing less than the maximum presence , being less efficient leads to more playful, more being well. Right. What I like to call disco organized like disorganized, but it's discord . There's a place of, of playfulness of fun.

Speaker 1:

That's I think where the kind of creativity and imagination come in and here, I want to say like a lot of the examples that you've been giving are, or I think kind of when you were talking, what comes up for me is mostly like in the personal sphere and at home and with family and things like that. But actually we can apply this also to work, right, because it's not an either, or it's not a zero sum game. And I think that what happens is when recognize that we're so busy doing the task at hand, rather than how we're approaching the task and how we're doing the task . And then, then we allow ourselves to open up and be creative and imaginative on how we're doing the task .

Speaker 2:

That kind of connects to what Adam Grant talks about procrastinating, right? The originals to have time to think.

Speaker 1:

And it's not to say that you should, you know, like I'm passionate about deadlines. I love deadlines, but I think that you can have a, or a framework and leave some room for recognizing that it doesn't need to be rigid. And it's not just about getting the task done, but also about the environment that we're creating as we're doing the task. Because if we're, you know, so gung ho on getting something done, let's say in a work environment, and we're, we're not aware to how we're talking to our colleagues and we're not aware to kind of the , the stress that we're exuding and because stress and anxiety, all those things are contagious just as playfulness and creativity are contagious. And so if we're, if we're going kind of a laser focused , we might be missing out on potentially good ideas. We might be missing out on creating a warm environment in our workplace. So I think that it's, it's, I think that it's important to recognize that like, there's nothing wrong with efficiency. Efficiency is super and fantastic. It's the softening of right. It's how we're approaching the task.

Speaker 2:

I was also thinking, it's interesting because as you're talking, I'm thinking I'm more thinking about efficiency in relationships and you're seeing also efficiency in the workplace because I never thought about the no, cause I think it's interesting because a lot of times what I'll see with couples is it's the switching off is stopping efficient when you're coming home.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. So what I'm trying to say is, yes, it is about relationships that efficiency bug or , or , or whatever it is about relationships. But to think that we can switch off here and switch off there, let's try and create a more holistic approach so that we recognize, you know, and I think that also has to do with kind of prioritizing or, or the setting that we need to be efficient. And , but recognizing that you can be efficient and also open up a little bit and leave some space for, you know, how we're approaching the task and creativity and, and connection, which relates to what you're talking about in terms of like the very , um, specific context of our relationship. Yeah . Right.

Speaker 2:

And I'll also say that play is a good counter indication to efficiency because , um , Dr. Sue Brandeis, well played , it'd be having a point

Speaker 1:

Right. Being purposeless. Right , right.

Speaker 2:

Refer to the meaningless conversation, the purposes conversation episode, and basically, so, so how do we do that? Especially if you have a person like me, who's always efficient, it's hard for them to stop and just to be in the moment to be disco organized. So the first thing is you need to find a time, a place or a person that can hold on a little bit for reality. And we spoke about the look of the upstairs downstairs episode, but next to every person who's like, it was flying high. It was in the moment there's somebody who's usually

Speaker 1:

Holding reality . Yeah. So

Speaker 2:

You need to find a place in a time and I'd often I'd suggest doing a time limited , having someone to hold reality at time , say the next 20 minutes or five minutes .

Speaker 1:

Right. Well, I think that's kind of like, now that I'm , I'm taking what you're saying, I think it's this, and you said, how can a play is , is a good almost antidote. I want to say that it's a good kind of combination. Like if you can, inter if you can, if you can weave together efficiency and play, like, that's the sweet spot. That's where it is. Right . Right. And I think maybe, you know, as you were talking, I was kind of reflecting. Maybe that's also one of the reasons that for instance, I really love deadlines and I always make my deadlines. I always make my own personal deadlines, like before the real deadline. And I think maybe that's part of it. Right. It's like creating a container that within this container of efficiency, let's call it right within this container. You have room to move around, you have room and that's kind of equivalent to like, somebody is holding the space. Like time is time is not going to get lost. Right. Like in total play like Stuart brown talks about, so you will get the task done, but there's enough of a container to hold you that you can stay playful and creative and, and, you know, move around within the, within the borders. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I like that. The next thing I suggest, take off your watch, put your phone away. I'm talking about when you're trying to be present with your partner or kids. Okay. Just be always mindful of the time kind of pushes you into, okay. When is dinner? When's bedtime, dah , dah , dah . When we have to wake up tomorrow and then just drop that a little bit, soften that perception of time. Cause time and efficiency are obviously really highly connected. Yeah . And then slow down, try do one thing at a time we're eating right now. We're playing right now. Right?

Speaker 1:

That's the task. The task is being present at dinner. Right. I think it's thanks for people who are really efficient. And you'll, you'll be able to attest to this a bit more than me because you're like the very high efficiency person in our relationship when, when it's confined to like a specific amount of time or like a specific, like, if we say, you know, Saturday morning, we don't have anywhere to rush to, like, let's just chill. Like that's the task. Is that helpful for you to like wrap your head around it and let go of the watch and like, let go of that. Do you know what I mean? So that it's , it's not like, okay, forever now try and be like less efficient and let go of time. But like for Saturday morning, there's no, you know,

Speaker 2:

For me , this , the symbolism of taking off my watch at the end of the Workday is really, really big . I need that. I need that , that space to compar my say, okay, right now, this is the goal. The goal is to be present. They're going to be guys with you. Or their goal is just to be present another. If you're a high efficiency person, you can make a list of all the things that are not efficient. They're usually the ones you feel a little bit guilty about. Let's say just watching YouTube, watching NBA highlights from the finals on YouTube.

Speaker 1:

What if done was a reframe though that you could give yourself that like, actually that is efficient, right? That is efficient in giving you downtime that is efficient in giving you self care that is efficient in getting into the nothing box and from the day, and that is efficient in preventing burnout.

Speaker 2:

Yes. So the reframe that as if you're always efficient, that's the , that's the highway to burn out . So if you can schedule in times where you were going to be unefficient and disco organized, and slowly what's going to happen is you're going to feel more and more moments of presence. You'll still be reaching your deadline maybe a little bit slower, but while you you'll enjoy the ride, because at the end of the day, most of your Le most of your day is on the way to something else. If you can be more present here. Yeah .

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Well, so that's one of the things that , that I was going to say, as you just said, that is that, you know, I think what happens when we become so efficient oriented, right. And are unable to let go of that, is that nothing becomes fun anymore. Like no task , because you're, you're, you're, you're in this task, but you're already thinking about the next and , and, and I use the term task loosely, like that can even be, you know, that can be having your parents over for dinner or that could be taking the kids to the pool, or that could be, you know, going to the cinema, like when you're in the, in this, to doing mode, then you're at the cinema now. Okay. But then you have to like, you know, get dinner ready, and then you have to take, you know , the kids to the birthday party and then you have to come back and then you have to do bed like it doesn't end. And so then everything kind of loses what it loses the substance because yeah, exactly. And the end goal is to finish the game.

Speaker 2:

And then , so, so it was just interesting. Cause now that you're saying that I'm thinking about like, so if, if everything's a to do list, then the whole day is one long game and you're basically waiting for the day to be over right. For the kids to be , to be in bed. And then you start living during , but what's the point. Yeah .

Speaker 1:

Y yeah, you're you , you're playing the game to win or lose

Speaker 2:

With , what's the point. If everything is one long to do list, then what's the point of life. Then you're only going to rest when you die or at the end of the day when you close your eyes. So if you're feeling burnout, rigidity, not fun, and you're just, you're being, becoming cynical and heavy. There's a high probability. You are becoming over efficient. So take all these tips that we said, try to stop being a fish net, cut, cut yourself out of that efficient.

Speaker 1:

I would say don't stop being efficient. Cause I think for people who are really efficient, that's, that's hard. And I think that there's also, there are a lot of benefits and being efficient is important and great. I would say, just see where you can kind of where you can find pockets of, of kind of softening it or have containers where you can kind of like, I don't know . I just, I imagine it's like rounding the corners of it.

Speaker 2:

And I think that's also a discussion to have with your partner. Who's the, who's the higher efficiency partner and how can you find a balance? And it's especially crucial if you're both high achievers, high efficiency people you're going to have to help each other, slow it down. And if you have a big differences in temperament and efficiency between the prepare and use that as a strength, not just as a problem, a lot of times he can help slow down and actually enjoy the moment. And I think that is super important. So if you're high efficiency, don't also necessarily judge your partner. Who's less efficient. See it as a gift because the opposite of efficiency is maybe its presence. Maybe it's maybe it's being in the present very bold with the opposite . So the truth is enriching. The original script. I thought the opposite of efficient is a bag of fishy as exactly the opposite of you . Tons of different directions. It's this score organized. I love that. Anyways. That was Roman . Now we'll see you next.

Speaker 3:

You've been listening to the potential state podcast for more information, visit us@potentialstate.com. Thanks for listening.