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March 17th, 2021
It’s an interesting discrepancy that we generally adhere to eight hour work days and yet it’s widely acclaimed that we only really get four hours of quality work done. What exactly is happening during those other four hours, or the other twelve for that matter?
The obvious and widely denied truth is that we aren’t actually as productive as we think. We don’t actually take breaks from our strenuous and continuous work, it’s more the other way around: we take breaks from our laziness in order to get something done.
Perhaps such a statement comes across as cynical and judgemental, but on the contrary, it’s in line with our evolution. (Another grand statement…). But in terms of energy and efficiency it makes sense: an animal that can make more use of less energy is exactly the name of the game when it comes to evolutionary and environmental pressure.
Now when it comes to intelligence, a new definition is applicable: intelligence is efficient laziness. Or rather, intelligence can allow you to get the same thing done in less time by finding a better way - that’s efficiency. Work smarter, not harder.
And yet we are beset with the guilt of not getting more done, of being lazy, procrastinating, and wasting that precious time. Perhaps the only real problem isn’t actually wasting time, but feeling bad about it. What if the guilt we feel about procrastination actually perpetuates the procrastination? Is there any possibility that we’d get started sooner and be more productive if we held no ill will about doing nothing and wasting time when in fact that’s the default?
All progress is just a short break from the holy task of wasting time. Our real problem isn’t a of productivity, but an ability to enjoy those moments as they while away.