[The Proposition] ‘Efficiency is overrated in our society.’

PhD candidates explain their most thought-provoking proposition. This time Eva Huet.

Text Ning Fan

Here, PhD candidates explain the most thought-provoking proposition in their thesis. This time it’s Eva Huet, who received her PhD on 6 September for her study on how risks influence farming in southern Mali.

‘In modern society, we often prioritize efficiency in our actions. We rarely ask ourselves why we always feel the need to rush through tasks without wasting time and energy. Why not take our time instead? Why can’t we liberate ourselves from the constant pursuit of many predefined goals?

Before and during my PhD research, I had the experience of working in different countries where I encountered different working styles. Initially, I could get frustrated when tasks sometimes took longer and required going back and forth many times before being completed. But I gradually realized that with more time allowed, people are more likely to come up with creative solutions and have greater flexibility to address unforeseen problems. Reflecting on my experience, I think that in modern societies we sometimes become overly goal-oriented in getting things done. By focusing too much on efficiency, we often overlook the value of taking time and being open to reflection during the process to sharpen our objectives. Slowing down gives us the opportunity to absorb all the available information, fosters creativity and flexibility, allows us to learn from the thoughts of others, and may lead to the discovery of something initially considered unimportant.’

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