My usage of the word achieve is intentional. I don't think achieving is about doing more. It's about accomplishing a goal.

As a quick example, imagine you wanted to have a party at your house this weekend. You want to clean and tidy everything so that it looks nice.

You start at your bookshelves. You first categorize your books by genre. Then you sort them by color, so that you create a beautiful rainbow across each shelf. After three hours (I think everyone should have a lot of books), your shelves are the most beautiful shelves your guests will have ever seen.

I imagine it's obvious that this is a terrible waste of time. If you have a goal of getting your house ready for visitors, there are more important tasks to be worked on first. Your time spent preparing your bookshelves for guests will be unappreciated, and you may run out of time for more important tasks.

When I'm driving around with my wife and I make a wrong turn, I like to speed up and say "We might be going the wrong way, but at least we're making good time."

A Lesson in Significance

I had a meeting with an engineering manager who reported to me a couple years ago.