As we race to outrun imaginary deadlines set by our own unbending need to measure achievement and self-worth against an arbitrary yardstick, I can’t help but think of the mountains of wasted minutes that sit in a heap at our feet.
We’re always late, rushed, cramming far too much into far too small a window, and wondering how morning seems to sneakily turn into afternoon. We complain that “there are never enough hours in a day” and we lament an adjusted project deliverable date like it’s the end of life as we know it.
But how much of the blame sits on our shoulders? If we factor in countless distractions, daydreaming, social media addiction, and procrastination, how much more time would be available for real productivity? Is it simply a part of the human condition to crave a focus reset or soothe an overworked brain with mindless activity? Or has a society that’s built on the backbone of a dwindling collective attention span created manic little monsters who feel like they’re tackling task after task when they’re simply spinning circles in the sand?
As eye contact, basic social skills, and the English language continue to die a speedy death, I’d probably go with the latter. On a macrocosmic level, that’s pretty terrifying. But maybe the demands of a modern workplace are simply setting the foundation for a technological future in which we all function like poorly programmed robots, unable to attend meetings, complete assignments, or even arrive on time without megadoses of psychotropics buzzing in our bloodstreams.
We’re hurtling toward The Singularity, and I’m sure all these tendencies will be wildly useful when we merge man and machine, but there’s still a piece of me that thinks there’s something pretty special about a handcrafted wooden table, and the skill and focus required to start and finish.