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Diving on in to the river of efficiency

Think of where you were in 1985. Ronald Regan was just sworn in for his second term as President of the United States, New Coke was a thing and the Nintendo Entertainment System debuted. Back to the Future, The Goonies and The Breakfast Club were new movies with MacGyver and The Golden Girls dominating the smaller screen. Has life drastically changed since then for you?

Some of us in this world, not to date the others of you, weren’t even born yet.

Has life flowed for you the way you planned on it going 30-some years ago? If not, you are not alone. You have that in common with the Ucayali River in Peru. The river has drastically changed its flow in 30 years. Just watch this time-lapse from Hindered Settling.


I think we all expect for the Earth and its moving things to change over time, but not quite like that.

The Ucayali changed its flow, cut out a couple huge bends and became a virtual straight shot. Now I can’t tell you the science as to how this happened, or any science to how anything happens really, but I can tell you that the Ucayali became much more efficient of a river.

The trucker in me says that going straight from Point A to Point B is much more time efficient than having to bend down and around it and back on up. The Ucayali has some rapids, but I’m sure the Amazon river dolphins, they are totally real animals, appreciate the newfound quickness of the route.

While writing this on a trucking company’s website, I could take the easy way out and say something to the tune of: “so if a river can figure out how to flow easier, you can figure out the best route to drive to your destination. The end.”

But I won’t.

If a river can figure out how to more efficiently flow, we all can figure out how to be more efficient. The Ucayali River doesn’t have a mind. It can’t think for itself. It’s just water, but somehow it still became more efficient. All of us are lucky, we have a brain, but how much we use ours will affect our efficiency.

Using our brainpower, we should also be able to cue up some efficiency in our lives in a much shorter time than 30 years like the Ucayali.

They don’t have to be big sweeping changes to make our lives more efficient. They can be small like once you read a non-important email, deleting it right away instead of never deleting anything in your inbox. Setting up the DVR to record every episode of The Voice because you end up watching sports every night anyway and forgetting to set the DVR thus missing the first ten or so minutes of every episode of The Voice. Those might just be me.

It works for us all, though. For our drivers, it might be using the Hot Keys on PeopleNet even more. It could be making sure we ask our co-workers every single question in one well-thought-out email instead of asking a million questions in two millions emails over the course of the day. It might simply be asking for help when you are lost or stuck. The list is endless, but unique to us all.

We are all unique human beings and we all have our own way of flowing which is both good and bad. Our flows are what make us unique, but sometimes our flows are too much of a rapids and we get stuck or we get too comfortable going down our lazy river and don’t want to change from our 1985.

The Goonies is still a really popular movie and Steven Spielberg is still making films today, but I have a feeling that in today’s world, they would have found a much more efficient way of putting on Sloth’s makeup.

It might be uncomfortable at first, but it’s for the best if we can all find some more efficiency. There’s bound to be rough waters, but with time being more critical to us all than it’s ever been, it’s worth diving on in to the river of efficiency and getting a little wet.

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Kottke Trucking, Inc.