By Harold Taylor -
By using technology indiscriminately, we are putting our lives into high gear, multitasking and filling our lives with incessant interruptions and trivia.
No generation has had as long a lifespan, yet a third of us claim we do not have enough time. In some respects, all we have done by introducing technology is to increase speed and reduce the time we spend on trivial, low-priority activities so we can take on more trivial low-priority activities.
For example, washing machines do a wash faster than grandmother`s scrubbing board; but now we have more clothes to wash and we wash them more often. Email is faster than writing or typing letters; but we send & receive more messages. We are driving faster; but have longer distances to travel, more traffic, more construction and more gridlock.
Life is being lived at a much faster pace than 50 years ago – or even 20 years ago. We have a love affair with speed. And it borders on the ridiculous. Fast-food restaurants carve 15 seconds off wait time, churches reduce the length of worship services, and publishers offer one-minute bedtime stories – children’s stories reduced in length so we don’t have to spend too much time with our toddlers at bedtime.
In spite of technology – or because of it – we are sacrificing sleep. The average person now gets 90 minutes less sleep a night then she did a century ago. Drowsiness causes more car accidents than alcohol. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night can impair motor coordination, speech, reflexes, productivity and judgment. We don’t take time to eat properly, exercise properly or sleep sufficiently, about 20% of us are obese.
If we are walking faster, talking faster, driving faster, working faster, sleeping less, and using technology, why isn’t productivity going through the roof, and what happened to all that extra leisure time that we were promised?
If you really want to manage your time, simplify your life. Time management is not doing more things in less time, which technology encourages, it is doing fewer things – things of greater importance – in the time that we have. Eliminate those possessions, activities, and “To Do” items that have little meaning to you or to the significant people in your life. That includes all those electronic gadgets that attract you and distract you. Get rid of the ones that contribute nothing to your life purpose.
Harold Taylor is a bestselling author and time management expert. (www.taylorintime.com).
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