This lesson is 552 words, a 2 min 12 second reading time. It is part of the Efficiency Collection and features Claire Conly, Life School’s first guest star. 🎙⭐️ Claire is currently the VP of Analytics at Thumbtack. Prior to that, she spent eight years at the management consulting firm Bain & Company.
Claire Conly’s philosophy, “MaxF,” is about making life better by being more efficient. From strategizing errands routes to optimizing downtime while cooking, Claire has a knack for making the most of getting stuff done. To learn about MaxF, check out the video interview & her note below. 👇
📨 Claire’s Note
MaxF (also spelled MaxEff) is short for Maximum Efficiency. In fact, it’s a very efficient nickname for Maximum Efficiency. I didn’t invent the term; it was passed along by a friend. But I quickly made it a lifestyle. If you can believe it, when I left my last job, my team made me a cake that said “Stay MaxF.”
To me, MaxF isn’t just about mechanical efficiency. MaxF is about improving your life by getting a lot done, easily. We all have lots of daily operations in our lives - shopping, cooking, cleaning, appointments, errands, and projects. When you get a lot done, and it’s not a big deal, you have more time and mindshare for the things you enjoy. Whether you enjoy taking on more interesting projects, spending time with family, or just enjoying some leisure time, living MaxF will help you do more of it.
The principles of MaxF are:
If you can do something now, do it now instead of later. That way, you have less to do later! This one is simple - don’t procrastinate.
Make use of “dead” time. If you’re waiting for some water to come to a boil or something to bake in the oven, wash the dirty prep dishes and wipe down the counter. Then you’ll have fewer dishes to do after your meal. Often this time is wasted scrolling social media or your phone. Make these bits of time useful so you can have longer chunks of time for fun later since the work is already done.
Do things in small batches rather than all at once. Instead of tidying up the living room once a week when you can’t bear the mess anymore, tidy it up a little bit every time you notice that it needs it, or get in the habit of taking one thing to put away every time you leave the room. Similarly, wipe up a mess right away, even if it’s just with a sponge and water. This helps keep things from getting super dirty. When done in small batches, chores don’t pile up and become a big event requiring lots of time and effort. Things just get done, easily.
Have fun with it. Finding little ways to get stuff done quickly can become a bit addictive, like a game. Once you start, you’ll see all kinds of ways to MaxF your life. Give yourself a break from being MaxF if you need it. The point is to improve your life, not make it less fun. It’s not about being serious or extreme. Pour a glass of wine and turn on some good music if you need to.
Make it a habit. Eventually, you don’t think about being MaxF - you just ARE MaxEff. And people will marvel at you.
👆 Illustrative Examples:
Ordering errands: For example, if you need to drop something off go there first, and optimize your route to end the errands at the pickup.
Hosting a Dinner Party: If you think of MaxF as a 2x2 of “impressiveness” vs “ease” - what is impressive but not a lot of effort? A roast falls well into that top right corner. It’s not very difficult because you just put it in the oven! Alternatively, making fewer, more special dishes. More dishes = more stress and complexity which isn’t ideal for hosting.