- keeps the world afloat.
For long, no one cared about finding out the meaning of time. Its use was limited to mechanization.
Now, it’s turned into a perspective tool. Its vastness and ephemera have become regular reminders of our own unimportance. In the cosmic language of time your life is a grain of sand and humanity the shortness of breath in the run-up to infinite expansion.
The 21st century offered a fresh start. We could afford to spend our time thinking about how to spend time. We industrialized our days with efficiency, productivity, and output.
The idea was simple: in the limited time you have, the goal is to get things done. All of it.
For a while, this worked just fine. Everyone went bonkers over striking off things from the eternal to-do list that was their existence. Productive was the canonized state of being. But soon enough, productivity stopped having an end goal and became an end in itself. What went in is what got out.
We turned into devilishly resourceful robots.
This is not a failure of the classic idea of time management or its favorite stepchild, productivity. It is about how we took something incredibly useful and turned it into a neurotic nightmare. Classic humanity.
This is not about where time has led us, but where we have led it.
Productivity moved us away from passively being managed and thrown around by whims of the day. It moved us into purpose, hope, and creativity. And what did we do? We went in the opposite direction, faster.
“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
Our understanding of productivity is just that: …walking long enough.
It has become a distraction from figuring out why something matters in the first place. We’ve started measuring the most useless shit with the utmost delight. We’ve become so addicted to getting things done — instead of confronting the scary purposelessness of our days we’ve doubled down on it. In order to avoid becoming slaves to time controlling us, we’ve become slaves to controlling time.
It’s because we’ve forgotten the whole point. We’ve reduced time into something to be managed: broken down and squeezed into. It’s why we feel constantly drowned in the certitude of our aimlessness. You bore the hole from the inside. Into something so majestic. Your slavery is your only salvation.
Real productivity is timelessness.
It means being able to take a nap in the middle of the day. It means enjoying the walk. It means knowing running faster does not mean you know where you are going. It means coming to terms with the fact that you are always going in the opposite direction. It means you ought to know this much:
stay sensitive, define bullshit and constantly remind yourself life’s too short for bullshit, even if that’s the direction everyone’s running toward. The lifeboat leaves now.
I feel happy in the places I am not
my life is but an elaborate plan to get there.