how much is actually necessary

Callie Chapman writes:

“Seems as though everyone is in full whirlwind speed (including me). It brought me to think about efficiency and time/space delegation. Many of us are traveling from one thing to the next. I wonder (in this age of the cloud and technology) how much is actually necessary. Yes, there are times when you need to meet with people. And then there are times when you need to be alone to work on “stuff”. How many times are you trying to work on your stuff and people show up and want to meet? How much time does it take to go from mindset to the other? Do you need to be working on stuff with a sign on the door (or chair, or water bottle on your makeshift desk) stating you are quietly trying to focus/work?

Is there a way to divide the little time we all have into ‘meeting with people time’ and ‘doing stuff by myself time’ without jumping back and forth? The jumping back and forth takes it’s toll in attention and stress… We loose time in transition. How much time (and stress) can be saved if we organize, ask for help, delegate, and divide time? Is it the immediacy of needing answers by the hour when in the past those same answers could be answered by the day?

And when you are working you have a browser open because, you know, everyone works online in some way, shape, or form…but then things in that browser window call for your attention (even though they have nothing to do with the task at hand)…You jump back and forth and spend 5 minutes on what you were working on and 10 minutes on jumping back and forth…

Efficiency in systems is also something to speak to…How to take a task from entering into your hands into follow through and completion? If there are too many steps, it’s worth reexamining I think. Relearning something else in order to tackle those tasks could be worth it (although it sucks when you have to stay with the current system all the meanwhile learn a new system as well). I would encourage everyone to dream of how they would like it and find out how to make it happen…You never know.

I write this publicly because I felt this way and wanted to reach out to see how (if needed) we can join thoughts together and come up with solutions. How to tackle the age of distraction with will power and clarity. Anyone?”


I respond:

The philosophical response: Figuring out essentials – not things that necessarily bring comfort – redefining essentials requires confronting what we’re been taught to feel essential to our lives. No mean feat. Then to retrain our lives to those essentials and keep paring down. And we must be ruthless (we must fight for what is important to us because it is constantly being encroached upon and the encroachment normalized) To know that essentials are intimately connected to different strata of means and livelihood. Each time you take on something as essential you are building to a critical jump in lifestyle that when it happens there is no going back until a painful process of paring back down many things you deem essential. By enough people practicing the control of essentials in community we can challenge the lifestyle jump and redistribute our reclamation of valuable time and resources to making our communities sustainable. Meditation and practicing a return to basic living are great ways to engage yourself actively in life making that can lead to eventual clarity and becomes less an issue of will and more a new alertness to things important to your life that you may be able to nurture with care vigilance and a renewed sense of purpose. I have high education privilege and I don’t have much debt, children or necessarily a household to maintain (though I take my home life and the people in it quite seriously) – those are tangibles that obV layers things – but what is life without layers? We are all fabulous cabbages onions and lettuces haha mix us just right and we make fabulous soups

The practical response: Ideally when I’m at my best, I do all tasks at 90 minute chunks then make sure I play cook meditate nap in between. Dinner with friends. And now been reading myself to sleep. Choosing to live in Boston is a lifestyle choice.