For the past hundred years or so inventors have been doing their darndest to come up with technologies designed to give us more time.
They say their creations (such as those listed below) cut down on the amount of time it takes to complete a task, or even allowing you to complete two tasks simultaneously, and that therefore these automatically give us “extra time” to do other things.
But despite their seemingly good intentions, if you ask many people in our society whether they feel they have gained any time, or feel less stressed having these devices at their disposal, I reckon most people would say they’ve never been so busy and so time-poor.
I would say that there’s also a good chance that many people have never been so unhappy (or stressed, anxious, etc) too.
It feels to me like it’s a perfect dog chasing its tail scenario.
Further to that, I think most people would also say that when they were kids and they were most likely living a much simpler, less technologically-driven lifestyle “time used to go a lot slower”.
Here’s an idea, leave your time-savers at home and go and sit in a natural setting for a day (such as on a beach, watching the waves roll in) and you might get a different concept of time (or reconnect with how each day felt in your childhood).
“Time-Saving” Devices in our society today:
- Microwave Ovens
- Robotic Vacuum Cleaners
- Mobile Phones
- There are even under-desk exercise bikes available (so you can work out while you work)!
In parts of the world where they don’t have a lot of these “time-savers” (sometimes called “poor countries”, but aren’t we poor too? Time-poor!), where life generally goes at a slower pace, not only are the days (seemingly) longer, the people are generally much happier and more satisfied/fulfilled.
They don’t have time-savers and yet they get their daily chores completed with plenty of time to sit and relax, socialize and reflect.
While these people are also unlikely to be striving to “keep up with the Jones’s” or believing that upgrading to the “latest and greatest” new thing will make them in some way happier (or give them more time).
In fact, they would probably realize that they would actually need to go out, earn money and be away from home and their family to actually have these time-savers…in other words, they would have less time for the important stuff!
It all reminds me of the John Lennon lyrics:
Well, they shake their heads and they look at me, as if I’ve lost my mind
I tell them there’s no hurry, I’m just sitting here doing time
I think there’s something in this for all of us in the “developed” world to consider.