We are told that multitasking will allow for us to complete more tasks in less time.We are told that efficiency is paramount in work culture. That more is more, not less is more.
That fast is efficient, that fast is competitive, that fast is sexy, that fast means mighty.
For what, though?
Efficiency to eliminate wasting time? Or efficiency so we can rest more or do the things we love?
Because just about everywhere I look, I see efficiency only producing a need and expectation to get even more work done. We’ve become efficient only to set faster, greedier, more urgent baselines.
If machines and technology in general are supposed to make our lives easier, where is the ease?
Is efficiency the same thing as effective?
For me, I’ve been thinking about these questions and while I’m all about honouring time as a resource, I’ve been asking myself how efficiency affects my thinking and behaviour. I’ve also been creating some internal heuristics:
• Is efficiency in my actions promoting a sense of ease, relief, and rest rather than ultimately fuel more work?
• Is my relationship with time one that allows me to remain in the present?
• As I cultivate more efficiency in my life, am I experiencing more embodiment and leisure?
• Do I respect others’ definition of efficiency, as it may be different than my own?
• Do I acknowledge my privilege as an able-bodied person approaches efficiency differently than someone else who may not have the same advantages?
• Is my daily “to do” list realistic and kind with myself?
As a whole, efficient systems exist in Nature, and I learn from what the Earth shares. However, the efficiencies that exist within Nature are designed to honour the whole. It is not designed to honour a manic, greedy machine. The most helpful reminder in this conversation for me is to ask if efficiency is functioning as a supportive tool rather than a demanding critic.
Founder, spirit communicator and Wu shamanic occultist