Smaller, simpler, saner, slower
The pandemic has been economically devastating, but here’s one of the glaring upsides to our society’s transition to a more remote workforce.
Individuals and organizations were suddenly required to eliminate millions of non value added activities from their daily existence:
Attending wasteful, boring meetings. Planning expensive and exhausting events. Enduring stressful and uncomfortable travel. Managing annoying and absurd office concerns.
All gone in an instant. When you do the math, it nets out to hundreds of hours and thousands of dollar a year per person. The world has significantly reduced its overall labor intensity, whether we like it or not.
And as a result, we have freed up this abundance of time and energy that can now be focused on more meaningful pursuits.
The question is, why did we have to wait until there was a global pandemic to realize this? Shouldn’t we be eliminating activities that don’t add value as a regular practice?
Dilbert comic strips have been satirizing company inefficiencies and wastefulness since the late eighties, and now it seems all the characters have finally gotten their wishes granted.
It’s the workplace we have always dreamed of.
Flexible schedules, clothing optional, and zero commute.
What’s not to like? Sign me up.
Furthermore, if we zoom out for a moment, the lesson here is about more than just business. It’s deeper.
Personally, my appreciation for the coronavirus has been the opportunity to return to a smaller, simpler, saner and slower version of life.
It’s frankly embarrassing that it took a pandemic to slow me down, but hey, I’ll take my sanity where I get it.
The virus has been sad and scary and challenging for millions, and my life is no exception. But the quarantine also brought me a measure of peace unlike anything else could.
The frenzied and frantic pace that used to be the norm has come to a screeching halt. Brooklyn now feels like this charming little town where everyone says hello to each other. That hasn’t happened since, well, ever. Maybe my utopian paradise of all our neighbors wearing nametags will finally come to fruition.
Look, it’s unlikely that life will stay this way forever. Our goal for today is to simply enjoy it while we can. And to remember how cleansing and liberating it feels to eliminate activities that don’t add anything to our lives.
To appreciate the fact that nobody in the past year has felt the need to utter the phrase, hurry or we’ll be late!
Because there is no late anymore. There is no past or future. In a pandemic, all we have is right now. That’s it. And it could be gone in an instant.
It’s funny, so much of what we do on a daily basis is of limited value, for us and everyone else. But it’s clear that we can get much better results with much less energy, with the few things that are actually important.
In a world where modern life has always bullied us into making everything bigger, trickier, crazier and faster, maybe smaller, simpler, saner and slower is a worthy goal.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What meaningful pursuits will you enjoy with your newfound abundance of time and energy?