The Best Things in Life are Free from Technology:
A case for holistic time management.

A heading of an article in the May 17, 2012 issue of the Toronto Star caught my attention – “Outsourcing Life.”
It’s true. We’re outsourcing all the enjoyable, time-consuming things that make us distinctively human – so we can free up time for the mundane, work-oriented drudgery that makes us robots to technology.

Why waste time in a leisurely shopping spree with a friend when you can get someone else to do it for you? Better still, don’t leave your computer – spend a few more clicks and a few more dollars and have it delivered.

Sure you enjoy gardening; but look at the time it consumes. Hire someone instead. And walking may be good exercise, but why walk when you can have the Internet? And don’t forget “laundry on wheels”, grocery delivery, on-the-spot car washes and the many errand services that will do all the running around for you. Play your cards right and you may never have to leave home again. You have an entertainment box, digital access to any place in the world, and 5000 friends on Facebook. What more could you ask for?

Think about that for a minute. We are indeed outsourcing our lives for the sake of efficiency. The ultimate efficiency would be not having lived at all!

Holistic time management is hanging onto the whole – doing things, sharing things, enjoying things, and experiencing the emotions that go along with them. At the rate we are “progressing”, soon all our laughter, enjoyment, grief, and feelings of love and affection might be outsourced as well.

Yes, I am hanging onto my paper planner – and my friends – and my hobbies – and my long walks. I buy my own groceries, make my own phone calls, visit my friends in person and waste time along with my family. That’s what life is all about. It’s not about cramming as many activities as possible into each hour or expanding the workday or being available to others 24/7.
Sure, even holistic time management involves productivity. But productivity to me is producing more of what’s important, meaningful and enjoyable to myself and others. I can’t see how racing the clock, being sleep-deprived, anxious and stressed-out, emotionally drained and not being able to enjoy everything life has to offer as being productive.

Outsourcing, multitasking and technology are not the cause of our problems. But, these things were meant to be used as we embrace life. Life was never meant to be used to embrace these things.

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