She kept herself occupied, but she was not occupied enough. Within a year, she sense an encroaching lethargy that frightened her severely. She longed for some sort of employment or enterprise that would provide vent for her considerable intellectual energies. At first, her father’s commercial matters were helpful in this regard, as the work filled her days with daunting piles of responsibility, but soon enough Alma’s efficiency became her enemy. She carried out her tasks for the Whittaker Company too well and too quickly. Soon, having learned everything she needed to know about botanical importing and exporting, she was able to complete Henry’s work for him in the matter of four or five hours a day. This was simply not enough hours. This left far too many remaining hours free, and free hours were dangerous.
– The Signature of All Things
I’m glad to see that an excess of efficiency and organization is a problem others (well, others in books) have as well. This is a common problem in the world of Laura. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go reorganize our closets and make bread and clean the kitchen because goddamit, I still have an hour before I leave for work.