There was a discussion in one of the Philosophy groups on Facebook concerning the amount of time we spend doing things, both trivial and not. The suggestion is to concentrate, to spend more time thinking, speaking, or even shitting. My response was, as follows:
“This sounds somewhat Taoist to me: we need to become what we do, whether it is speaking, chatting or, well, shitting. Not that I disagree, especially because “fast” often means “half-done”.”
And I do really agree that we need to dedicate more time – along with effort, emotion, and thought – to whatever it is that we need to do at any given moment. The present time, with its conveyor belt method of production that expanded onto the Internet, doesn’t give a chance to thought and reflection. We move on from “project” to “project”, be that an IT project, a book, or a baby. The speed increases, as does the pressure and, consequently, periods of exhaustion.
I’ve been through these burnouts a few times, and invariably they were caused by me having to allocate 80% of my time and effort to something that produced 20% of results and compensation. This is another consequence of high-speed production when projects come in heaps, some interesting, some not, and we have to deal with them, regardless of how much value they have for us both in short and long run.
So, slowing down is often a missing key to happiness or at least that level of satisfaction when you enjoy doing what you are doing.
Slowing down also allows to choose words and expressions that help to better convey the meaning or describe things. Our modern language and syntax suffer incredibly from this fast thinking that takes the most readily available words and sticks them randomly into the narrative. Again, the only way to combat this is to think and express yourself slowly.
By doing so we may come to reassess the Time. On the one hand, we may discover that Time is boundless in that we can dedicate any amount of it to those of our actions that make us feel happy and fulfilled. In this respect the length of Time is ambiguous, it is our own construct, and we decide how long it lasts. On another hand, Time, being seen in terms of Pareto Principle, will bring us to see how we can extend or squeeze the Time, and that both extension and squeeze are relative. You can forever extend the Time doing what you like doing and hence squeeze a lot of “projects” into the given time. Or you will extend the length of one annoying thing over 80% of the time, only to squeeze out the measly 20%.