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iTXP EI .2,T ZTATIC1I EFFICI-ZCY. -
Object of the Seminar.
The founding an.-1 carryingi,:grvwar"d o the Experiment Station
Seminar ha1 its inseption the desire of the staff gett=g together
an discussing full : a freely the different-, lines of work that were
I being carried. on. Every one hoped that the criticisms 'would be very
full a.d free, at the criticisms would be such as would be very
helpful. Naturally the first speakers in the Seminar felt a con-
.siderable amount of-timidity since it was an untried project with
them. So far every speaker has :iven a rather full and lucid dis-
cussion of the particular subject taken up. Criticisms have been
offered andi so far as T'y personal knowledge goes none of "Wluz-=-= 'e
of .-captious or fault finding character, but rather either a seek-
ing for information or bringing out some weak point in the discussion
that was enteredl.-y the speaker of the day. A
I would offer as a general criticism o all the papers th.t '
have been presented that the speakers have not given their particular
subject the full attention that it ;.:erited. In fact, every one of the
s-- akers should ., ave given at lq st full day of cO.reful and system-
atic consideration a, much thought and time being needed for anr easay
of this kind to be effe'tive as for w::riting a bulletin or newspaper
article. Later in my p,.per zR'. I will touch upon t.-,ic matter of
lose of energy by iailinc to study the subject ic.atter ..it -fficicent
c .re an- diligence, thouL.' it will not ..:ne out in ::actly these
..'e r, s.
A.-other criticir. that I have to make is that every speaker
took a subject that was too iton --y for an hour'? ";ork. It
:,ould probably have be.:; uiser to have give, an outline c.f the work
in hand for a larger part of it aindl tie-n ."u'11 especially and
carefully u;-. sol.e cnc ..arti..;ular phase. .rti one Q f- Le uel.ls
'skil be chosen '.'ould aer.ed entirely upon the speaker's desire
for criticism and atsir'e for iurt-er knowledge. I take it that in
preparing our essays for the Seminar w.e have in mi;.d as much the im-
provernent of onesclf as the improving or the -eiving out g in-
formation to the audience. In other w::ords, that.-it is a Seminar in
fact as well as in name.
To carry out such a ',isussion fully, fluently and p
will require hours of careful thought and frequently -snes re-
casting of the sentences. I am inclined to believe that for the.
",ost part we who e prepare the papers %,,ill find it to have
our esz.a, written n out in full. Then after these are -:.'ritten out
give them several days of tife written form. By this process :7e
,.-ill be able to eliminate ir.uch that .vill be of trivial value to
the hearers and of no consequence to ourselves.
Another criticism that I should like to offer is one that has
been hirn';cd at repeatedly and a number of times formulated in def-
inite statements, andr thit is that the scientific worker,especially
those '-ho have a true scientific spirit, are very poor advertisers.
In other words, they have the greatest difficulty possible of rutting
th-ir rv1terial before the consumer in the best s.-, shape. I
have been forcefully struck by the weak and indifferent way in *.:.ich
many a o-ientific r.ma puts for'.i'ud some of the best discoveries he
has rimaze. This modesty while in a measure quite commendable is
t the same time the scientist's weakness It is almost impossible
for the layman or the man outside the special department to -ell
".',,hat is the most important ];je2 .-...... disco:-ery t4ma the ncien-
tist has made. This very frequently -.,.,orks to a very create dis-
adv.antrtage of the' scientist himself. He uncor -c-iously becomes hbi ,ed
in favor of some very simply point that is rc.lly of very trivial
importance. I have been fr..',e.tly i. L- iri .-d visiting scien-
tistk, in dii>t-at 1 rtIoratories l i. L n L.t they 'ere apparently y
fri:terin n. wa their time at some trivial or uniisip ortant piece of
workA -L conEuming a large percentage of their energy as x::ell as a
large percentage oi their time trying to prove cr dispro0.-e a o.ert:-in
small point that really: made very little material difference to them
or to any one else, t Iefull and free 'is-uss-icn with .scientists in
the same line of --ork would unquectionabl:ly have disillusionedAperso:rsL
In speaking of the preparation for an essay of this a:ind I
have said that most of us have taken too little time in ori.ulating
and digesting the material. e9y-e will say at once that he does
not have the time to prepare it properly, I A .. i e.... t
be r.d ,itbe "utly. Every one of these meetings co ( ts, the oIr sti-
tution from ten to forty dollars. Mhe I-n. f-ti= money value,
however, is only a small proportion of the -1r3 since the time that
an erale expenditure. The mone-
is used is/irrecoverable expenditure. The money e yv cuAl-
be recouped -I, J i-- _., but the time ,l o i -n.. .
- .. -- n. i[
I have called attention to the fact t?-at our
Seminar le. tures have been of a more or less desultory characters
in the bi-ni ng. This had : -'y to-be so. We knew
just '.Wh.t our be.-rin-s were. We 'had, to look around for a solid foot-
in. for a direction in whi.h to work. This, however, laid the
fo undation for better .jeork in the future
T *atr Io will come 'ecry largely throul.h the narro;:-
in-" of our subjects, teus 1'1 ttin to : i, a ... f s-of
-e-- r---4-t-, them in a :ay th :ill 1 superior ,ec.
to _'. ii any one else in our hearing could w h.ave treated
S.t prtictlar n -
Y~ 011i^ Cfk
I believe that in the future we -.'ill be able to secure
papers from time to time from members of the University faculty. -These
papers should prove of considerable ralue to us both directly and in-
The full and free discussions of theosec papers wi l in.ro-lce
the confidence that ',we have in one another. With the isolation as it
has occurred in the past has come i:: tc s feeling t'hLt
the other fellow w was simply "laying for us", read; to make a scoop
out of the material ve. h.ar so laboriously 'Irought toget her. These
s.-oops I find in :ny persurnl experience omrne about al:'"iot entire-ly
from the lack of knowledge on the part of the other icelow. Of
course, there are some persons who are so constituted that they would
not feel at their best unless they were getting the advn.ntage of the
a I f This / is al.mo t entirely absentt under
the present crCani-ation of the University. Havinr thus 2ic.-t a
brief introductory to my Afte paper today, I shn.ll .;ish to give an
outline of the points that I wish to take up.
First The ntroiuctory rhich I have -lr dy Iiven.
Second.e The E oentials necs ssary to success under the
SaSentials :;ecese ry to success I wis, to treat a nIumbIr of subjects.
The main divi ions being n
T am Vo k
ESS.ETTIALS TO SUCCESS.
The ter:.. success is a varying, and at some times a rather
vague expression, Used in different moods and under different t con-
jditions it :ay mean the very opposite of what it would under other
cuLn-itions. Success as looked at from many a standpoint ma.y be
att -iined even through a series of failures. Ordinarily, however, if
a majority of our plans fail the whole Lroup must be called failure.
On the o-,ier 'land, if a majority of our :l-n. succeed our project
.m.a ea. idee a '.,cc.ess. Success in the E1xperime-t Station .':ork
inust be measured by the sumn ami total uf=to advancement that is
made in scientific agric .ilture. Unquestionably the organic law xmm
:ort r-.lated that Lthe Experiime~t Station should be an organic :'ole
: and not an -.ssemblage of many indepe nident parts. Unfortunately, in
the beginning it :.as difficult, if not totally impossible, to secure
the ,-a:p--f: f workers necessary to man these institutions.
The ideas as, tu whit conitits ted an E:)perimecnt Station ..:ere e:-:ceedinm-
ly variable and in some i:.t:-.es even gro. ,.,sque. This cannot be
-o ndered at hin we consider the con-ditions under '."ich many of
thi wereo es. bli..:,-. As a result of the many varying conceptions
a: *even the ,--,iconceptions as to wvi't constituted an E:Lperiment Sta-
tion-. a heter,.genouz 'mass of unityy ge thrown together '.':ith the ex-
.ctation that they wor-k out r _... These elements that
.'*ere t!ro'r toro'. uther were harmonious enough in the be rinnin1, but
!o ha-vin. lad an.' previous expe-.ience their ides as to what -.ork
ha., to be one :.n] ioo:,: this work should be carried out were exceed.in.:-
ly i-r Ious and frceU-ently This -ai ifrcutly '-ought
4 e :,j /
'Lout a condition that was, :-en worse than no work at all.
Team Work. -/r 4 4J
-c assermblaze of men h.lr-inr ",o,-,oc .-jc. t, C, 3' -.I
i4-, eL::== --.. -e--e -.. r r --s team work, and the
more copletely this team work is carried out, thie more likel- are we
to .-ttain .,-,-ess and the more --iftly to reac-h the -utl. To an
as.erblnCG of per- :ns -...o i: been brou.-ht up under .iIodern college
eon.i ticns the terrr"team work" need not be defined. As a .)atter of
frct, our underst-tndinLt of the v.,ord is. mnuclh m.nore perfect than could
be e::.rcssed by several .ar.,_raphs of r.,. Vi'e -have? all heard Lhe
the expression after a football ,...u "..-t the individual plJ in -
was perfect but the team vio"k was poor -and consequently defeat s
^. 1. Also after a ... of b .l we not infrequently
hear the expression that no errors were made but the team work
Very few of our ,-r... -cial establishments recognize
S -i. qu-lity in their employ ees. It is rare that one finds an
est -.lishment even of small proportio!rs where the team work is
anything like ap)pro:,i:'g perfection. In the lar c' establisaLments
it is notoriously weak and in some c-ases entirely lalci.. The
ve.-y fact that this principle is not re :bT:ized by our c tlains ,cf
industry *E: fc i r. millions and pr-c-ly billions of dollars
,i..:,*111. A sli.'-.t readjustment and a more thorough underst.,.:.".I.L
of the word "tearn work" would acc m.lish just as much wi th about
50 or 60 per cent. of the labor expended. This is the one point
.t .'.ich more crAvn-iations breal: dc'n d become inefficient than
at any one other place., 4 c, _. -
WIe frequently speak of a man as being a good organizer and
a man :.ho gets results where others fail. If we analyze his success
and failure, we find that it is not built up by superhuman efforts
on the part of those wlho are associate' 'i'ih the .vork, but on .he
fact that Thc i-.li-.'idual .wU,' .e.-g of the or.r". L ,ti c ifon rccogniize
their r..'-,r n3iili ty and heartily coopcwqtc in taI enui,i rk. We are
often -L,,z ed -it ouine combination or assembl-a- o l mn that see-ms
t c e a mere chaotic jrc'up .':ith no vicible or"g.niiation or tangible
menais of control and yet t.is aea.- i l.age o- .i e;- are na i :.ost
astou.ndin: striqe0s an.n progress. BE.' 3Jtu.9yirn,- tuhe confi ti onc r2-
fully it wafLI seemnthat th : -i n.'li iuals themselves form i- ner-
fe.t team %::ork .r:oup. No matter ho-; efficient the chief or the
head ian of the rroup ray ': if t-he. in'l.ivi- ai -.wbcrs arc mki:g
in tea:i:n .vork, thi organization as a rul. ma:es '.rry liic l. 'oress.
The general in the army durin- war time -,.s absolu.te auto-
'-rno. c po-.:er over the army'. Thi aut'o"ratic po.'.r, io,'. r, ioes
7..o L .-tk it c ibl for him to 3seure from hir men their Znor-ous
.-. .'-. rty t .n .7ork th t is eis ntial o ,- ,.9S. T.he captain
o9 the ship during t-he voy-.age at sea .ha. an-bolute iov.'er over,xx
not only, the officers of the ship, but over the p.Q.. -..v- T a .',11.
His authority i. ab.out a.s autocratic asl cou.ild well be imaginrc-d,
"-t !-.Vs :lAoes not for one moment assure .that -ft- -i ;ill be good
tea,:2 'ork even aion.- the officers of the sip. The purser p.1lay
be jealous of the ste::.ar rl, or the rite of the purser, and so
on the whole rounds from t' to ti= captain. Where
-u1"1' t i n,~t s e:-:ist the team wr.n k is liely to be weak, j".. th
uJder normal a:-.d 'din.a.,ryj c on i tions t'" :o utor-it; of t'i. I-ptai. o
is sufficient to mainITin a rca-sonable amount of ditscil' e .- -.'I
a fni- ~. u-n. of work ac- Liched, yet th:- ..: en r :,ef..Illy
lac..king in effi iency, noL ocnu. e o" _n' ..ill in .-, o0n e '-rt
o ca',h 'o pjerfor 'his o' -n uties ut '1 .c .a f an -.'.:;i -i ::ess
on nii part to perform the dcu ies in 3u.h a *.-.':.v as to a'---'. .ce "'le
':..'o k of his -33e o iate s.
Fro..' ti"ic iT, :a: r-ea il D- ...? t'h it in- divers *. ... ''n
i,,!'i-a. ial efficiency nay occur vit -.'ut having or, ':a.n-i tional
:.ffi ,i.c. n y. Th, :o'trar," o"f t..i-- e at err. nt., how,': r, '. oul :-ot
o0 c ir. It 'w'.. d-1 ,,-ver o U r that t'-h *::.'j .i tinn coul.' ffi ,i ent
and all of the individ .uals oe in,'fficient. Still '..ith (r. or 60
pcr c:'nt. o. L'C in i-"idualG "oi.^ offi.2ient and tle craniiization
doinJ tearm ':'ork iore -ould "be :t compli1i?,d Lhan by all of the in-
dividuals being efficient a-nd the orga.-ization .o0L .loing team work.
I.id ivi] i u..l Er.riciency.
As tlere arz ..r ees oi trc'i I:'I f i.ent itali
A.7 there i ':."in 2.e rees of efficicnc- The : l'ividual, r; '- '.er,
has a v.ri i. '.t co,'.-rol over his own efficiency. It is not an
S-.req-Lent e:.::-ri,) nce to find the '.iiin :.Lo is busy all the time
*,c. -."r -et a ve-' third pace an' y.t at th r. of a r-. : or c th
h3 c 'oplishe- -.'r li 1 even, those ordinary il r-u'.ico
S :e-" to so i Y grease t-he ='ficiency of ?- e laily laborcr as
to .. '.ble 't. result of t-ie -- : r: d- one it out incr- -ing
Thc ~A cL. r ff rt '.,s is one illustration of many that
fo:: d' trained-~r'. time ke tio to ioi. about brick layit tD it was
i:i to so ir efficiency.
In-i'-:i.2.' al efficien-y may ocuur a:.- *.:el in 'ihc ab:3e,.ce of
il'.,-orate equipment ac in tUhe pr .e ,c.: of the arme. AC a m-rtc.r
of -fact, an effici o t i ,-..11 vi-.i.n.l a .or:.in. -':i ti mostt .-.: :.'. ipme nt
will produce better results that an inefficient individual with
elaborate e.. uiopnent. As a rule, the inefficient members of e:..iety
are likely. to cover up or confuse their inefficiency by a .3 iperabun-
dance of equipment. Probably one of the first symptoms or mani-
festations of the inefficient individual is the very jreat desire
to be possessed of or surrounded by a lUrze amount bf equipment
of a complicated nature. It ix ntbt equipment ha-t spells success
S:.'it the individual, but it is the individual as concerning his
efficiency xxi that either mal:es or success or for failure.
In this connection I have in mind the experience of Oscar Loew, who
was for.ierly connected ::'ith the "ureau of Plant Indultry. Dr.
Loew '.wa7 detailed to 3tudy the question of tobacco fermentation.
This subject had been under discussion for t'vo or three decades.
Voluminous papers hlad been publi3'hed on Lhe subject in Fra:nce,
Belgium, German;y and undoubtedly in many other counLrice. Many
of the ablest scientists had given the maLter careful and extended
attention. For the most part the experiments w'er-c planned elabor-
ately and the equipment generous. Dr. Loew on being detailed to
carry out this work packed an ordinary suitcase full of test tubes,
reagents, and other material, disdaining to even take with him so
large a package as would necessitate its being sent by express.
With this Inboratory equipment and a generous stock of individual
efficiency he made his way by train to Quincy, Florida, and in the
course of a few,, weeks had worked out a problem in tobacco fermen-
tation that had engaged the attention of individuals of les- eflfi-
ciency for at least two decades. A complicated lot of apparatus,
and a corps of able assistants w-ere at the corm~an.d of Dr. Loew, but
in spite of all this he started out witi a suitcase full fof mater-
ials and no assistance, arriving at a dfeinite conclusion and' nne
that so far as I know has '.':ithstoo. the attacks of those. ',.ientists
-who did not agree witL him in his findings.
There is really no distinction between the individual an,"- his
mental mIke ap yet for the sake of :.learness in my discusi on today
I want to make a. separ-tion between the individual and his rmental-
ity. Since there is no physiolo-ical or other renal distinction
between the individual and his mental being, I should not be ex-
pected to give you a definition that would make q. clear and clean
cut division between the two. Under these circumstances individual
efficiency n- .Lental e.ffici.ricy ";ill intr-rsrade into each other
incensibly. 3hort :uta to Lhe end make for in'l ividual efficiency
but -s d, ake for mental efficiency. In.iv-.idual quickness may
even result in mental ilu..iis-ness. An individual mi-ht be effi-
cient and yet in the cou-se of a year neglect to 0r'i.., his 1.ent 7l
part i: : ri,.-ht .ha.-nels to such ha e:.-:.et as to be entirely
inef'fi.:int. ''his mi.-lht go on to sc.. z.-. e::ent as to put him quite
outsid-e o. the :peri:.e.'t Staition u zef lness. ie '.'ild here :r.'e a
c.se of ind.i-i''.n.l .rtn:s, individual activity,andic yet rental
l,,i ":.hness. .By far the greater majorityiy of people in Experi-nr.nt
Sn. ion .:ork are suffering seriously from mental ,e::.islumber.
our -iind* exert Aonly about on-1.-Llf or less of its cepabilit a
This -t lu.'cber must in the cuuvrse of tim. result in mental
-liefficiency. We find in America t'.. there is s.o uLUch of the
hu.-.tlc, bustle and Let-'hec.c spiritt t' ,t little or no atten"iorn
iZ p.ii to the m:ttter of zs?.rin l/r :..l1U mental fi efficient j.,cing.
In the follo':i.'- paes I "..ichn to .is.uss some of the points w.vhich
make ior mental efficiency an.-d fin-.7li: to tahe up 3o-r-i of the
points whichc h will enable us to become mentally more efficient'
Waste of HAstli n.
'.'C:..; person whatJ ~., itL. ,llI; hu -'les ha; no but. -ies1 in he
E.-perient Stntion laeorat':rt. Th"re are time '-ren) even the in-
ve7Li :;tor must l-b keyed up to a ten :ion t-:.t precludes t.:J.kin. a
.?rt:al n-p. uh a z *- .e of e .2 ,,1:'..?u.ness if continued in-' f-
: I i y.*. r saltI in m n:tal br e ak own. T 1 7: :-:, :i : /: 1 .:-4 -
4-tu' :-P ,di ^f F? ._u.-l-. Hustlin.- is an attitude of ind.
o ; -.tL.'f t..t .nEl:es lots of noise about doing a very .11 job.
It r2a.ii 1i1s one of a .te.-:-horse power hupmiobile goi-. along a ,.i.ia4-
amized I ro.'-e., t1 h e.i ine puffing ror all it is :orth, sending c.'.t
-"'.13 of ..aoli .e .:.o: *.. tool box rattiin', tt:- machinery
f'r tl. most .:rt ill fitted and jo .tlin, ..i.nst one ..'t'.cr, e.:u
c a -" -i,? m-.in a tr ,:,-cn ous lot of noise j...l
-. tic Compare this with the fort-.-ho. se po- cr t'.irin;; car t'at
liess over the .paved r.-ad so :ilently that '.',ere one a loak ..-ay
he would never know that the machine '.,'a movi:J..
aIn vi;.' of the fact Lhat every scientific worker comes
.f:e to f-ce 'ith a condition heree it may--m n-cessaryT, for him
to call into .,-tion the greatest amount of '.ntal force thet he has
it woule sometimes seem necessary tp hustle. In the true a=:* express-
ive sense of this word, however, those conditions do not arise. Hust-
ling always carries with it a great amount of lost energy. "'Thile .
taxing one's mental forces to the limit of their working capacity
need in no sense call for any amount of lost energy fro.i this stress.
Tle electric motor will carry an overload for a considerable len..th
of time, but it ma-kes very little fuss or loses-very little energy
thereby. It means merely a more rapid 4reaki n.-r .own of the ph".si.-al
material than "vould occur under -,k lesser stress or a smaller load.
I have from time to time seen scientific men n"i o hustled, they would
begin one piece of work, co.rry it alon- vigorously for a little "1'hile
and before t.iat wa inalf Tone their mind happen, to rove on to another
piece of work That was in progress, which was promptly taken up and ika
then hustled along for a. little while. It in turn being dropped for
somet--ing else. At the end of Lhe .':eek very little had been accom-
plished and nothing had been finished. There are a few, yes, a very
few, scientific men .who have accomplished quite a ,r,-eat deal by this
kind of hustling. Rhey, however, fall outside of the cla-ssification
of what we ordinarily term a scientific man. They are a ':ind of a
prodigy, or a get.ius, or some'..inr: of that A`nd.
Was.te from rci-:: Dilatory.
The att.itne of *iind hqdt possesses a '.::r:er who is ha-it! al' v
or -.as .-ally- dilatory is ..11 e.prs. sed in the para-phrase
"Ne:vezr do L.lay what you can put off until tL-orrow". T'iis is prob -'.ly
t:.e a t oAi, G- i- L kL we i-n -. i'.;.i .i c mao c:j itj :f scientific
!.Cr zA:.r 'fn fact, there are thousands of young men who xi *"-.ile
"or".i .- assistants under the dir,'cion and instruction of the
print iple '.complish a greatt deal of work. In fact, a few of them
a.oris". h a opro-diji.:s "mst. As soon as these yu~v. men are put
in & ",,. of a i :- ce of work they become dilatory, fin,:lli lnore
dilatory, and latterly so 'il'tory u',aLt they drop out of the .cieniif-
ic e.la'soification altocLter. 'his is pro1b.2.:.' the vcrst e.-il t'at
we hvec to fight ajnirst, person:l.y, indivi1'iallry an collectively.
In the instructional side of 'a- work there is -t f diniiger fr oi,
,r i 't .nzt: frohn e''-:. 1Tie, cl-.-es have to be met
ever day, the le.zons pr..pared, a-nd materials (Lotten in r.' ..liness
for th-e lnss. .This in a way 1.ives a new impetus to the work every
"-rni'nj. In inv-.tigational ';ork the new impetus or ne-'. i.-npiration
must be generated from within. It must be a sort of storage battery
that never rULns down. To the ;,most of us it becomes nece..rary to re-
plenish the energy in tLis storage" battery from time to time. This
is accomplished in various ways. The most potent way is the annual
meetings of learned societies and the minglinEg .ith other spirits
wnho have a common interest.
Dilatorine-ss may be of two kinds. The first one and the
most frequent that we meet with being a failure to push the problem
that we have on Land. In other words, we have a certain specific
problem "-.-.ich we Lake up,w,:ork along the line vigorously, until we
come to some difficult point. The difficulty may be one of a thousand
that every scientist meets .7ith. It w:.ould take an entire page to
give even a classified list of the obstacles that are thrown in Lhe
w:ay of the worker of one of these problems. g f the obstacles
and the most serious ones of thema-r- thoao tMat arise in the imagi-
nation. They are pure bugaboos that stand in our way, not real but
faicied obstacles. They arise in a l-Lrge measure from the fact
that we doe:not see our way perfectly clear toward the solution of the
The next class of dilatoriness is that of our failing to
take up our problem at the right time. This is a real and serious
difficulty and engenders a great deal of waste of time. This waste
frequently arises from the fact that we-are busily engaged in some
nonessential of another problem, or possibly -ur attention and thought
is focused on something entirely beside the question and before we
awake from our mental reverie, the time for taking up the problem has
passed. I have said before that this trouble is the most serious
form of dilatoriness, though the formi of taking up the problem and
dropping it causes probably the greater amount of waste,
The evils arising from the waste due to dilatoriness has be-
come so ..a,entuated that it found i ;s expression, in legislative act
in administering the funds appropriated for the Adams Act. Rules
were passed requiring the scientific -orker to -:nap out his problem
fully, give a careful and detailed outline of -what he "vishzd to nc-
coiplish and .ow to accomplish it, and going still farther require
an annual written statement as well as an annual verbal statement
an to how well this resolution had been kept.
These forms of dilatoriness very frequently find their
expression in the worker being habitually tardy, a little behind
on almost everything that is done, rarely quite ready, and very
frequently uncertain in their own minds. Our ordinary 'excuse for
these forms of dilatoriness is that if we had competent help, "
sufficient ai':ount of it, et.. etc., We certainly wruld be on time and
accomplish a gveat deal. I know, however, that from personal
experience that the men who accomplish most in business lines usually
do so with the minimumm amount of outside service. These men nearly
always see to it that the work that needs to be done is thoroughly
outlined and that the results are in hand before the time that they
are actually needed. In other words, they look ahead, anticipate what
is .going to be needed, shape their work in such a way as to make it
: 1osible for ithe to accomplish this, and have their results in fine'
shape. The Bresident of our Board of Control, Mr. P. K. Young, is
one of the best illustrations of keeping ahead. of his -.jork of any
man that I have come in contact with in recent years. His office
force always seems to be ahead of their work. They have '-lots of
Lime for outside engage. ,c:ts, simply because their chief anticipates
what will be needed and succeeds in having the work accomplished
at or before the time the results are ."anted. There are quite a
number of other men whom I have met in times past that with the
minimum amount of assistance accompli'-hed a maximum amount of
Waste by Carrying Office Detnils, ','orries and
Our homes, if they are places that are worth ha-ving at all,
should be such as to allow us to recuperate and build up the -aste
an w.orn out tissues of the day, Ta.ing for granted that our :reital ma-
chinery has received the hardest kind of usage possible during the
office niours, it naturally devolves unon us to see that we ,ut
third side of our mechanism in the repair shop for the ni-ht, drop
all of our office cares, w.vorries and gossips. Take on the form -.'
relaxation sven Lo the extent of entering into amuseiments or di-
versions that call for activities along other and" different lines,
We have frequently heard it stated and we have not infre-
quently read of instances where some of the finest inventions w.'ere
thought out during the sleepless nights of the inventor, '.,here plons
were laid comnletel:: during hours of ',vakefulncss. "'.e have enough ~tAyt
illustrations of this kind and they are detailed with sufficient
care to ohow us that these are clearly the exceptions and should not
be considered as coming under the rule. It is quite true that
most of us, ii not all, require more or -less of a solitude to enable
us to do the best thinking. The best inspiritions, ho,..Iev, c, come to
us during those hours whe>n we are working: quietly in our own work '-hop,
and I think if a record could be :*.Ae .most of our best ,/orh: would be
traced rirectly bak to our laboratories and our offices, not necess-
arily during the time of quiet hibernation, but during the hours or
occasions -;hen our surroundings were such as to prove stimuli to
_-I- -w *
the. protection of'pi thought.
'4hile much time is wasted in frequent .and unnecessary con-
ferences, at the .3ame Lime L murh valuable time is conserved by these
uafie C-uonfcr., ices. The conferences '.:acte time to the scientific wcrk-
er only '::hen they are .allowed to g deJenerate into a gossipin. match
or into pleasantry nparri-i.
I have thus gune over the points whichc h it seF .ms to me are of
ths rost vital impo.rt-.nce to every i di,"idul, i1 ta'.ing these up from
the st.M-ipoint of destructive criticism. In the next few paragrahs
I '..'is- to take up the' matter in a ,o-, tructive way. The dc .vlop:r10 -,t
of 7-rej.t -cientist fr-omn the average e '-an is. an evolution pure and
simple. So for .143 my kno-'"ldge :oes, I know of no si nle'individual
*.iho attained prominence -"nc .recat honor in the sc entific lines
exn.epting by the developmental line." Revolution may o,-ur in the
mass, but in the individual the oroces? is one of evolhti on.
Efficiency by Habit.
We get into the habit of doing t ings in a certain way r.nd
continue to do it so in spite oi the fact that it is the Fore la-
borious way. In these days of laboratory psychology many of the
operations are studied and the more efficient ones are adopted. I
':ill repeat the illu:-ration that is just now gAing the round-s of the
From -illiar- 'to i3ricks
Type'.,riting is carried on by habits. The habit of
w-.':riting !rost naturally formed is that known as the siLht
system. Recently attempts ave been :u'-essr.Al, made to
ena-le the operators to form the haoit of '.vriting by touch
rather than by sight. The operator -.;io ac..itires the haoit
of locating tht- keys by touch .'.rites much .faster and -.ith
les3 nervous strain thai the operator who w':rites from sigi-t.
No one has been more successful in studying oc01.,pa-
tion habits than ir. Frank L. Gilbreth, an expert in the
building tLrades. He discovered that in constructing a -ric:
-r-,l1 a good Tiason u:.tld lay one hundr-.d -n. l entryt y bricks
in an /.our and that in laying ea'h brick he m-akes eir'teen
distinct motions. The motions were not 'mae in an >'c'lnm-
ical sequence: some o. tLhe'm -ere eroIly useless, and merely
e-dhaur ted the energy of the "workman. Mr. Giltreth attempted
to appl: the principles of pl.r 1in : billiards to the industry
of brick laying. Every motion of the mason should be a
"play for position". He should maJr. ea'-h mnot ion .-r. Lr tLo Dle
ready for the next. For example, the motion of pliarin.r7 the
mortar for the end joint sh-uld oen "vi th the tro'.cl in pos-
ition ready to ."ut off the hanging mortarr. When the .notions
ar,- made in the correct sequence, t'.-. or more of them can be
combined and performed in u;ut little .ore Lime than would be
reqAired to make each of the .separate motions, Thus, cutting
. ''. *1 '
off ..:ortar, 1:Ltterin; the enl of the id brick, and rert-h-
in.: or more r,,tar can a.1 b,: performed as a si ,'-le v'.?- .
mont.. I; th is 7:* ICthe' .o ti 02 Lhc a ,so.n ha 'been
r-d.c.cd from eighteen to five per brick. All this change
has been brought about from a stidy of the occupation habits
of masons. In discuscin- the results, Mr. Gilbreth says:
"It has changed the entire method of laying bricks by r-
ducintr the kind, number, sequence, an;-. length of motions.
The econoreaic value of lotionn study hYIas teen proved by the
fact that we have rior'e than tripled the -.orknran's output
in tricklaying and at the same time lowered cost and in-
creased wages simultaneously, and the end is- not yet."
Atter..pts to di '.-1cp benefit ial o ..-::.t "' at'iT s t .
.-- i- .;': . .' .-:. : ,': stively and' s.ier.ti ]ic anlly
carried out. Such experiments arc, howe-ver, r'.Ire to oc
s',c1,e-ful, .., it i- qlite probiule ti"-.L ,.fr, another
decade has pass..el. L hr-its of executives "-ill h.ive been
a.- rn cce'-f lly studied an. cu-tr.ll'd 1-'-- *' he oupfa-
tiorn ;7nabit oi 0 :1echa.nics ci bove.
'We will find that if we study our dailx" onperatic.ns .
especiall- those oi us who have to repeat our '-ol'const-'ntly
and ar-c worl:i rn .ore or less in a routine th, t there a.r many
.'was i: ''..'ich our cfficie:n.cy can be very greatly incrc.E.e 3 :ith-
out incr..ring t.ae amount of l-.''bcr exp n..ned in doinc- a c .. r ib
operation. Havin- once discovcrci that a cer Ltai line of work.
:*'ill prove more efficient, it bec-romes neccssanry for us to repeat
this -;ith sufficient frequ, cncy to w0A-k it a
I am ";ell aware of the fact that '"-hen the Carnegie
Inrstitu, tion published the article on scientific Efficienc.y t;a,-
a otcorm of protest rose from quite a nirmb,?r of. .urLi.ers an.d we
have not yet heard the last of the echoes from these protests. -We
should not, however, delude ourselves with the idea that the scienjk
g wekw is human species quite different and parfe m any
other being, and that because he is working in the scientific lines
therefore his trend of thought and operations must be governed by
different laws- than those that govern other material things. We
must also give up the idea that scientific work is stch a complicated
affairs it -j areligqa 4-n to intimate that some
scientific workers are inefficient. I hold that in order to
make progress in our work it is an absolute necessity for us to stop'
at frequent intervals and take a careful spetake stock as
it were to see which way we were going and how much energy/were won-
suming in making our progress.
Habits once formed do not under all circumstances make
for efficiency. In my own experience I find that people may be
walkingg about the hall freely without increasing the labor of dicta-
tion, but if a person steps over the threshold, even if I know per-
fectly well that it is some one working in the laboratory, the diffi-
culty of dictating accurately and freely increases. This is due to
^Ac -b^ c~ dw&a c^LwoL J ^.
CIZL,^ Z!- s a A ^- -- A-l- ^l
SAL^ ^. (-^r ,^ c! ,, sg. ti ^ O ^ --<
the fact that I have habitually given visitors preference to my
time over dictation. While connected with the U. S. Department of
Agriculture I had my office and laboratory entirely to myself in the
subtropical laboratory building. At frequent intervals it became
necessary for me to be present in Washington for several weeks at a
time. rwL e'ip.WuB"ILu"pt "
-" is3Jt .eoAnaeh-a ae atter. After practicing for about a week
the distraction from two or three others dictating in the same room,
or from visitors calling at their desks, soon wore off,and in the
course of three or four weeks it became quite as easyrto carry on 7 7
investigations, study and dictation in the room where sths several
other people were engaged in practically the same occupation everyone
of whom were talking sufficiently loud to be heard in any portion of
the room. The habit of non-attention to the details that were going
on about me proved extremely helpful especially when once formed.
But during the time of forming the habit the work was quite laborious.
The following is a quotation from W. D. Scott's paper on "Habits that
The introduction of physics and chemistry have led to
marvelous results in methods of manufacture and transpor-
tation. Those who have given most attention to the ad-
vances of psychology during the past two decades are con-
fident that by the proper application of psychology the
efficiency of men is to be increased beyond the idle dream
of the optimist of the past. If by a study of habits
the efficiency of men in fundamental occupations has been
increased from forty to four hundred per cent., it is
hard to prohpsey what results are to be secured from more.
The prohpecy has been made that as every manufac-
turing establishment employs its practical chemist, so
in the future every establishment employing large num-
bers of men will find it profitable to employ a practical
So much for the prophecy in the mechanical world. This need
not be limited to the mechanical world at all. This could as easily
be carried to the Experiment Station work and give us an increased
production of one hundred tp several hundred per cent. in the ma-
From the foregoing sections of this essay it will be readily
seen that I lay much stress upon habit.
Just what habit is has
been C s nie __n_ t by Dr. Wh. James of Harvard University in
Those of us who have -t-m= had the pleasure at
or profit of reading this chapter should avail ourselves of the
opportunity as soon as possible. I quote from this chapters
Dr. Carpenter,from whose OMental Physiology* we have
quoted, has so prominently enforced the principle that our
organs ,grow to the way in which they have been exercised,
and dwelt upon its consequences, that his book almost de.
serves to be called a wprk of edification,.-On this account
alone. We need make no apology, then, for tracing a few
of these consequences ourselves:
"Habit a second nature: Habit is ten times nature,"
the Duke of Wellington is said to have exclaimed; add the
degree to which this is true no one can probably appreciate
as well as one wjo is a veteran soldier himself. The daily
drill and the years of discipline end by fashioning a man
completely over again, as to most of the possibilities of
"There is a story, which is credible enough,though
it may not be true, of a practical Joker, who, seeing a
discharged veteran carrying homehis dinner, suddenly called
out, 'Attention!' whereupon the man instantly brought his
hands down, and lost his mutton and potatoes in the gutter.
The drill had been thorough, and its effects had become
embodied in the man's nervous structure."
Riderless cavalry-horses, at many a battle, have been
seen to come together and go through their customary evol-
utions at the sound of the bugle-call. Most trained do-
mestic animals, dogs and oxen, and omnibus- and car-horses,
seem to be machines almost pure and simple, undoubtingly,
unhesitatingly doing from minute to minute the duties they
have been caught, and giving no sign that the possibility
of an alternative ever suggests itself to their mind. Men
grown old in prison have asked to be readmitted after being
once set free. In a railroad accident to a travelling
menagerie in the United States sometime in 1894, a tiger,
whose cage had broken open, is said to have emerged, but
presently crept back again, as if too much bewildered by
his new responsibilities, so that he was without difficulty
Habit is thus the mXX enormous fly-wheel of societypits
most precious conservative agent. It alone is what keeps
us within the bounds of ordinance, and daves the children
6f fortune from the envious uprisings of the poor. It
alone prevents the hardest and most repulsive walks of life
from being deserted by those brought up to tread therein.
It keeps the fisherman and the deck-hand at sea through the
winter; it holds the miner in his darkness, and nails the
countryman to his log-cabin and his lonely farm through
all the months of snow; it protects from invasion by the
natives of the desert and the frozen zone. It dooms us
all to fight out the battle of life upon the lines of our
nurture or our early choice, and to make the best of a
pursuit that disagrees, because there is no other for which
we are fitted and it is too late to beginoagain. It
keeps different social strata from mixing. Already at the
age of twenty-five you see the professional mannerism settl-
ing down on the young commercial traveller, on the young
doctor, on the young minister, on the young counsellor-at-
law. You see the little lines of cleavage running through
the character, the tricks of thought, the prejudices, the
ways of the 'shop', in a word, from which the man can by-
and-by no more escape than his coat-sleeve can suddenly
fall into a new set of folds. On the whole, it is best
he should not escape. It is well for the world that in
most of us, by the age of thirty, the character has set
like plaster, and will never soften again.
In this same chapter there are four maxims which I will
repeat in their order as given.
The first maxim is:ln the acquisition of a new habit, or
the leaving off of an old one, we must take care to launch our-
selves with as strong and decided an initiative as possible.
The second maxim is: Never suffer an exception to occur
till the new habit is securely rooted in your life.
Third maxim: Seize the very first possible opportunity
to act on every resolution you make, and on every emotional promp-
ting you may experience in the direction of the habits you aspire
Fourth maxim: Keep the faculty of effort alive in you
by a little gratuitous exercise every day.
I. The success of the experiment Station depends upon team work.
II. Team work is perfect or imperfect according to the mental
attitude of the individual members of the staff.
III. The greatest amount of team work is accomplished only
when all individuals have attained a high degree of efficiency.
IV. Individual efficiency may be reduced bywaste in
hurrying; (b) by waste in lagging; (c) by indulging in office
cares, worries and gossips ia=4- A=p]A = f enjoying recreation.
Individual efficiency may be increased by forming habits
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