That Feel-Good Efficiency and 3 Observations

Ragin Cajun - I finally tried jambalaya, which was excellent!

Ragin Cajun – I finally tried jambalaya, which was excellent!

Howdy! For those of you who visit the blog regularly, I apologize for the scarcity of new posts over the last couple of weeks. Fortunately or unfortunately, I had to travel down to Houston, TX for work and finding the time to post was next to impossible. But…I’m back on track starting today.

Becoming more efficient is a habit that I’ve become really interested in over the last few months. What I’ve noticed is that being efficient not only results in saved time and money, it also gives me a really strong sense of satisfaction. It’s that sense that I’m making the “right” choice and influencing others positively at the same time (either directly or indirectly). When I refer to habits that I’m working on making more efficient, I’m taking about actions like driving better, not wasting food, and restructuring my work schedule. I’m not going to go into the details now, but I do want to look through this efficiency lens at 3 observations I made during my time spent in Texas.

3 Things I Noticed

1. 85 mph Pickup Trucks – There are pickup trucks everywhere in Texas! And these aren’t 15-20 year old beaters. They’re 0-10 year old baby hot rods. The majority of the trucks I had zoom by me were relatively new, had aftermarket exhaust systems, and NOTHING in the bed. I couldn’t help but wonder how much fuel is wasted daily because of these guzzling machines.

Efficiency Rating: Very Poor

2. EZ Tag Tollway - To get from the area I worked in to the airport, I had to go through 3 tolls in a matter of 30 minutes. Besides the annoyance of having to stop and pay cash, I did like that the majority of drivers had an EZ Tag. This allowed for them to continue at normal speed through the toll without having to slow, sit idly and waste more fuel.

Efficiency Rating: Medium

3. Friendly Folks - Almost all of the Texans I met with were very nice people. I liked their charm, and their willingness to help was evident. This is a little bit different from the northeast where many people are nice but not as polite and open. I’m giving this an efficiency rating based on how easily my mood was positively influenced :-). They did a good job!

Efficiency Rating: High

I know this post is a bit all over the place, but I hope it helps you consider tying efficiency into your everyday activities. Reduce, reuse, recycle is the mantra for efficiency that everyone can look to for inspiration. Remember that when you’re efficient, you can benefit yourself and others in a very positive and cost-effective way.

What are some uniquely efficient or inefficient operations in your hometown?


  1. says

    I try to reduce my use of water and electricity, reuse my bottles, and recycle empty bottles that I don’t need anymore.
    I guess it is possible to use this mantra with cars as well.
    We try to reduce the use of plastic bags by charging money for each individual bag.

    • Justin says

      Thanks for stopping by, David. Doing these simple things truly results in a win/win – saving money and the environment. Hopefully, more and more folks will strengthen these habits.

    • Justin says

      Agreed! I guess that’s what happens when you have all the space you could ever ask for! Unfortunately, being efficient isn’t as necessary in TX as it is in other denser areas of the country.

  2. says

    I don’t think I’m a terribly efficient person myself. Sometimes I have to go back and redo things because I missed a key component here or there. Learning to become more efficient would be a great goal for this year.

    Texas sounds like a lot of fun, other than the big trucks. I love southern food!

    • Justin says

      That would be a great goal, I agree. The number of food options in the area that I stayed in was very high – I especially enjoyed the cajun and barbecue!

    • Justin says

      I’d love to visit, it’s certainly on my list of places to go one day! The furthest west I’ve been is California.

    • Justin says

      That is indeed a great example of efficiency! I need to get in gear and sign up for a library card, it’s been waaay too long.

      • says

        Library cards are amazing! The number of books available to you is so beneficial, I can’t even imagine living without my library card. The impetus to getting myself back on financial track actually came from the library. I was searching for personal finance books and came across one that really resonated with me. I still have it and it’s been really helpful! Will have to return it to the library soon, though. Don’t want to get any fines.

Leave a reply!