Back when I was young(er?) and I pushed myself hard in the mountains, I learned to be efficient. Movement needed to be fluid, with a purpose, allowing my climber partners and I to remain focused for long periods of time. In the mountains speed is safety. Efficiency of effort, economy of movement, simplicity of thought. All these three things needed to be there, together with being physically fit and carrying very little, so speed could be maintained.

Now that I’m old(er?) I think back to those days of fluid movement and complete and utmost focus on the moment, and I smile. I wonder if I could do it now...

Of course, this thought took me through a rabbit hole a few days back and I caught myself thinking about efficiency, and how I can apply the same approach I had back in the days, in the mountains, to my current endeavors.

Efficiency, as I see it, is the ability to achieve something with little to no waste of effort or energy. Efficiency at whatever you want to master is not easy; it is a skill that takes years of practice.

Mark Twight wrote:

For any task - not specifically climbing - the first step is to make an accurate analysis of the task: what are the dominant contributors to success? Are they technical? Or more related to fitness? Efficiency/economy? Or force/ power? Etc.

The next step is to undertake a painfully honest self-assessment: what characteristics do you actually possess? And why can't you do what you aspire to do? Do you lack fitness or technical skill? Which has the greatest deficit, i.e. what focus will produce the biggest bang for the buck? This changes constantly.

So, looking at the thing you want to be efficient at, break down the tasks and understand whether you have the knowledge you need, and what you need to build the experience. Then, focus on understanding what is the simplest, most minimal thing you need to do in order to make it happen. At least this is what I have been doing with trying to apply efficiency.

Efficiency often comes from restrictions, but it's often not the restrictions that you set for yourself or that life gives you, that teaches you efficiency. The keywords are “preparation” and “doing”.

Preparation, training, learning, planning. Get intimate with the thing you want to do. Learn it all the way. Repeat it, do it, find what works and what doesn’t. Focus on finding the best way to do it the simplest way possible. You need to really experience the thing by yourself, in the field, when things don’t go like in the guidelines, and you need to think and solve the problems that will inevitably arise.

Preparation and constant training are the gateways to efficiency, I think.

It’s the never arriving mindset. It’s understanding that even when you think you have it, there is more to learn, more to remove, more to get better at.

Efficiency is the result of hard work.