Blog Action DaySo, today is Blog Action Day, and the topic is The Environment. Tens of thousands of bloggers are writing about the environment and I said I would join in, so here I am. I am actually writing about three things, so you’ll have to bear with me on the journey, from armies to productivity to the environment.

A while ago, I came across a military concept in my studies in a book on war by Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (1780-1831). I have to say that I haven’t studied military wisdom much, but there do seem to be some gems in there. I guess that when the consequences of a mistake are death, or the loss of your country, it tends to focus the mind. The other thing about military wisdom is that it has been around for a long time and much of it has been experimentally tested. That beats a lot of modern science. The concept? Economy of force. The idea is that you use only necesary effort. No more and no less. You employ your available power in the most effective way possible. Allocating the minimum power, but sufficient power. Now, doesn’t that sound like a great piece of productivity advice? This is a vital piece of practice for the perfectionists out there. For those on the lazy side, note that economy of force does mean putting in enough effort to get it done. Think about it, if something doesn’t get finished, then the little effort spent was wasted.

All very interesting, but where does the environment come in to all of this? Economy of force means ensuring effort is not wasted. Think of effort as energy and apply that around the home. How many devices are on standby, but consuming power? That is energy that doesn’t need to be wasted. Turn them off at the plug. How many unused lights on, or lights that are producing more heat than light? Switch them off and when they fail, replace them with energy efficient ones. You see, the environmental issue isn’t just about saving trees or reducing CO2, it is about saving your energy to save you money too. And how about sending those savings to help a social project. You can make the world better now and in the future.

Economy of force means more time to do more things. Economy of force means using less, saving more and so having more to give. I’m liking it.