Time poor or just plain hopeless?
BUY MILK flashes the outlook calendar as I robotically press snooze.
‘Buy milk’ it urges again five seconds later.
Outlook calendar reminders have become daily practice for me.
I’m also in the habit of snoozing ad nauesaum until I’m moved to post the same reminder (not always milk, can also be ring mum, do laundry) on my phone.
You know, for later – when I have some time to ‘get around to it’.
Facilitated by an arsenal of ‘time-saving’ devices including scrawled post it notes, an addiction to Google calendar and a filofax, I call it having efficiency in being inefficient.
And I used to think I suffered from this organisational equivalent of swine flu alone until I read Russell Bishop who wrote in Huffington Post recently:
“It’s quite easy to spend an entire day getting things done and when you get to the end of the day, you still don’t feel like much happened”
Think you’re immune? Take this simple test and see what happens.
Grab a pen and make a list of the various things you’ve outsourced to electronic, ready-made or convenient devices in your domestic life over the past two weeks. I guarantee it will add up fast.
Among the people I know there’s evidence of house cleaners, pet walkers, mobile dog washers, time-set heating systems, ‘organic’ online grocery shopping and regular visits to car wash cafes where we sit a metre away and watch someone else clean our car.
Ready made meals are delivered to our home and offices because we need to be healthy but can’t afford the time away from work to actually cook for ourselves.
You can even hire a professional nagger to call you at regular intervals to check you’re ticking off the items on Monday’s to-do list.
Can we be serious? Are we really allowing ourselves to be so busy that walking our pets, cooking our own meals and washing our own cars becomes something “other people” do for us?
It makes me wonder what my great grandparents would think. First generation Irish immigrants, they owned a jewellery store in 1920’s Rozelle.
They raised a large family from the back of that shop and my great grandmother’s time was spent fending for their brood and managing a whole host of physically taxing domestic duties.
Now I’m not putting up my hand to trade places with her, but I’m curious to know what she’d make of this life of mine.
It’s beginning to feel like my comparatively privileged years of education and huge social freedoms have led me down the road of the domestically desperate, relying on repetitive electronic messages to remember some of life’s most banal tasks.
Sure, technology has completely transformed the world my great grandmother inhabited at my age but are we losing the ability to fend for ourselves?
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