A recurring theme in this blog lately has been distinguishing between what is urgent from what is important. Technology increasingly shifts our focus to the former by providing pleasurable distractions.
I would like to conclude the series of posts with a bit of audience participation. Perhaps you want to move your focus back to what is important.
Make the Time
The title sets the stage.
A focus on what is urgent makes us miss what is important. We can only direct our conscious attention on so many items at once. Increasingly, technology fills more and more of our urgent attention.
As we focus on the urgent items, which carry immediate consequences, we neglect the important items with distant, but severe, consequences.
Think about an important problem in your life.
If you had 100 hours to solve this problem, how long would you focus on the urgent? Would you fill the first 99 hours with urgent items, and only then "make time" for the important?
How would you know if it is too late to get started?
In your life, what can wait? What is important?
Our time here is precious and short. We need to make time now for what is important. Part of this involves removing urgent distractions so that you can make space for what is important.
Our current technological belief system assumes that more technology will save us from our existing technology. Because entropy is always increasing, there is no precedent to support this conclusion. Regardless, we want to believe the idea because technology makes us feel comfortable.
Products, or the companies behind them, tell us the stories that we want to hear and show us the things that we want to see. People that are comfortable rarely change and are not always happy. Discomfort is the catalyst for change and a cure for complacency.
Mentally choosing to act on the important instead of the urgent can be uncomfortable. It is not the default choice for many of us.
Do we actually believe that a not-yet-invented piece of technology, more complex and commanding more dependence from us, manufactured in an environment with fewer resources, surrounded by marketing messages manipulating us into more frequent purchases, will let us focus on what is important?
Smartphones are more urgent than our children. What brings us happiness? What is important?
Take some time and reflect on all of the technology in your life. Visualize, hour by hour, a day with all of it removed. What did you gain?
You may only have one hundred hours left. Make the right choice today and make every minute count.
See you next week!
Ty is a Founder of Shift Sight, LLC.