Archives For Dr. Donald Laird

Efficiency falls when the temperature goes much above 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Both mental and muscular work is lessened either in quality, or quantity, or both, at temperatures even slightly above this point. When it is below 48 degrees human efficiency also begins to fall. The temperature of 68 degrees is generally considered the best for health as well as for efficiency.

~ Dr. Donald Laird, Increasing Personal Efficiency (1936)

It may be that geniuses can work best in an attic room littered with dirt, but such a condition shows that they are the exception that proves the rule. The rest of mankind can work better in attractive surroundings.

Fortunately our surroundings can largely be selected or altered to suit our needs.

What estimate would you place on the working value of your surroundings? In my workroom at the laboratory here I have curtains, potted flowers, and an attractive, fresh paint. Window curtains and flowers seem rather out of place in a laboratory. But the truth of the matter is that they are exceedingly in place, although they are not common. Whether I am experimenting, writing, working over data, or conferring with students, the appearance of the room increases my efficiency.

Some rooms radiate the spirit and desire for work – others suggest Saturday night and spring housecleaning.

~ Dr. Donald Laird, Increasing Personal Efficiency (1936)

What you accomplish in this world depends upon several things. One is the nature of the abilities with which you are born. A second is whether or not you use these abilities in the most afficient way. A third factor is the conditions under which you use your abilities.

You cannot be told by psychology how to be born with certain abilities. This chapter will be devoted to finding out what surroundings, conditions of light, temperature, ventilation, and health will do most to further your efficiency.

~ Dr. Donald Laird, Increasing Personal Efficiency (1936)

Applied psychology is not inspirational at its source. It is scientific. But that does not imply that it is lacking in inspirational value. There is nothing more inspiring and stimulating than the laboriously unfolded truths about the workings of the human mind, its limitations, and its almost limitless possibilities. Inspiration that is founded on the cold facts of science possesses a double value. It is inspiration that is within possibility, not the inspiration that is beyond realization and which brings only disappointment and failure.

You have your desk and your office equipped with efficiency-increasing appliances. You put attachments on your car that increase its efficiency. Here is a personal question: Have you given as much attention to your personal mental efficiency? Are you laying your mental bricks with eighteen movements or with five?

~ Dr. Donald Laird, Increasing Personal Efficiency (1936)

This is the age of applied science. On every hand there are mute but lasting witnesses of the wonderful strides the sciences have made to serve man in a useful way.

But have you ever paused to reflect that applied science and efficiency engineering are one-sided in their development? Man spends his energies in finding out how to get a ton of steel to go father, a typewriter to wear longer, an automobile to run cheaper, a light to shine brighter—but little of his time or thought to the development of his own efficiency.

The extreme development of natural material resources and their conservation is paralleled by a pitiable neglect of human resources.

~ Dr. Donald Laird, Increasing Personal Efficiency (1936)