Inefficient Efficiency

I tend to ponder and think about life quite a bit

To me it's interesting, the way the world is headed at present

Admittedly I am (and choose to be in some respects) ignorant to all the happenings across the globe

However, out of my own personal observations, I believe we are trying to become more and more “efficient” to save time, energy, money, well you name it really

It’s like, wanting to do less, to have more. 

My question is this - Is our quest for efficiency coming at a cost?

From what I’ve read it is estimated that by the year 2035, approximately 40 percent of the jobs Australians currently perform, will no longer exist due to technological advancements

If this is the case, then it’s a pretty scary predicament for many

I definitely understand in many situations there is room for improvement, or just better ways or methods. I just feel sometimes we are trying to get better at one thing, in the hope to save time to do another thing. Then we do that thing and we search for ways to get better and more efficient, and then…

We just keep filling up our days or weekends with “doing stuff” or getting more stuff done

Is this really working for us?

Do you feel like you are just racing from one thing to another? 

My pondering comes about after doing a mammoth amount of weeding over the weekend

The Plethora Of Weeds At Mum’s Place

The Plethora Of Weeds At Mum’s Place

I was actually at my mum’s place and she has a fantastic vegetable and fruit patch in her backyard. The thing is when the rain comes down, the weeds come up, and they come up FAST!

It is a bit of a task pulling out these weeds, you’ve got to squat or kneel for long periods of time. You’ve got to bend and reach quite awkwardly, duck under the branches of the fruit trees, it’s not exactly what you would call fun

The other thing is, if it rains a couple of days later, then whatever weeds we have pulled, magically reappear overnight

Without a doubt, it would be SO much easier for me to just go along and spray all of the weeds with some sort of killer. I’d get the job done in so much less time and the likelihood of the weeds coming up again would decrease significantly. It would definitely be less back breaking and I’d have more time to go and do something else

I do think to myself however, do I need to keep trying to chase down efficiency? Do I need to keep reducing the amount of time I spend on certain tasks which appear to be tedious? Do I need to do that “something else”

It’s a yes and no answer

Here’s the thing, with any action or task, there are pros and cons

Yet, I wonder is the con... really a con?

Although manually pulling out the weeds by hand seems quite futile (mainly because you don’t always tend to get the roots out), I choose to see or have a different outlook on the job itself

When I get out in mums garden, so do the kids. The kids dig around, imagine, play, get dirty and generally have a pretty good time. For me, this ticks so many positive boxes in regards to spending time with them, having them actually be out in nature and getting some vitamin D, the list goes on really!

Mum, Macey And I Weeding. Jaycob was also digging away to the right of this pic (although you can’t see him).

Mum, Macey And I Weeding. Jaycob was also digging away to the right of this pic (although you can’t see him).

Obviously choosing to not use weed killer, keeps the area organic. It’s better for the soil and the garden in general

I also feel there is a lot of value in actually “slogging it out”. Real physical work, which takes time and some grit to actually perform. How often do we get the chance to do such work? 

Look if you’re a tradie or you work on a farm (or in a job which is quite physically demanding), then you probably don’t need or want to do something which is labour intensive. 

However, I believe there are many of us in the population who are in jobs which require them to sit and be locked into a position for many hours of the day. Our bodies and in my opinion our minds could probably benefit from spending some time doing something like the weeding. It’s an opportunity to be more physical, to get more vitamin D, to actually be a bit more connected to the Earth again, rather than just skipping over it with another bottle of weed killer.

In concept, pulling weeds by hand or with a garden tool is really a waste of time, but why does there seem to be this need to constantly get onto the next task? Hey… maybe it’s just me

And just like that! The weeds were pulled out and left to dry on the pavers

And just like that! The weeds were pulled out and left to dry on the pavers

Let’s look at it this way for a moment. Would we be a healthier, better moving, even a happier society if we took more moments to actually truly immerse ourselves in just doing one thing at a time, without trying to speed up the process, to just get onto the next thing or to be more efficient? Of course this idea doesn’t apply to all things, but I’m hoping you get my drift

It’s interesting, a lot of the things we should be doing to be healthier, actually take time. For example, planning and cooking meals, walking more, parking the car further from work and setting there on foot, riding a bike to perform our 9-5, exercising or training and as strange as this may sound - sleeping are all time consuming activities. Yet, we are so “time poor” we are constantly trying to cut away at the edges, because we just can’t fit it all in. 

But we want to be healthy, right? 

You can get your dinner delivered to your doorstep, you can access an app and do a quick 15 minute HIIT from home, you can find out what your friends are doing just by clicking on your Facebook account without actually needing to leave your house or pick up the phone (by pick up I actually mean dial, because we certainly have NO problems picking up the phone a million times a day). To a degree, you don’t even have to leave your four walls, or almost step out your front door to essentially… exist. 

This is efficiency, am I right in saying this?

Or is it something else?

I told you I think a bit :)

Here’s my attempt to finish off with something intelligent. A quote from John Lennon.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Take care of yourselves, thanks for reading!

P.T. Scott

Scott Jenkins