Efficiency is the killer of imagination

night scene showing young boy with a little moon in his hands sitting on meadow, digital art style, illustration painting

Very recently I read that “efficiency is the killer of imagination,” and for the life of me can’t recall from where or by whom. Chalk it up to the fact that I’ve been reading from a variety of written sources lately, and also that this idea struck me so hard I’ve been kind of in a daze with processing it.

I have always valued both in myself. And now I’m exploring that perhaps in doing so I’ve actually been not fully expressing one, or the other, or both. And that feels like a gut-punch. Interesting. What am I most mourning?

I like the simple, clean lines of efficiency. When I put ingredients away and wash dishes as I go when I make a meal, instead of cleaning everything up afterward later, I finish my task sooner instead of creating a whole new one. I feel spacious, expansive, and free.

I adore the meandering, creative, discovery of imagination. When I sit with coffee and watch birds, I let my mind open to creative thoughts and I receive ideas, insights, and Divine peace. I feel spacious, expansive, and free.

And yet… What if in my efficiency of scheduling time for imagination, I’m actually holding myself back? Accidentally putting an upper limit on my imagination?

The ability to imagine is what drives all creativity, enables clear thinking and inspires a sense of humanity.

Linda Flanagan

Ooo, I like that. That sounds good.

Efficiency kills creativity unless creativitiy increases efficiency.

Narcis Radoi

Oh, crap. That makes sense, too.

Hmmm. So, efficiency leads to time for imagination. And imagination leads to creative and imaginative soultions and processes.

Kind of like the chicken and the egg and the question of which came first…

Although I believe each would say both are present and necessary, the art of life says imagination comes first. The business of life says efficiency comes first.

Maybe for an individual, at least for myself, it’s about a balance of both. Knowing when it’s time for each, and fully embracing it in it’s own moment, and not at the expense of the other.

Which leads me back to the idea of feeling gut-punched as I process this over the past few days. In which am I out of balance, here?

How might it feel to be either imaginative or efficient, just for its own sake?

Oh. Now I know where I am.

Thank you.

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