early mornings

Even as I’m struggling to find the hours to spend asleep; hours that I know will help me function better with the next day, and all it may throw in my general direction, there’s something great about watching the sky change colour in the mornings.

A friend and I – who used to live in the same suburb and so walk together – manage an irregular catch-up by phone early on a Saturday morning. With the cold weather, I’ve taken to starting out by driving somewhere, then walking in a different location to the familiar path we used to tread together.

Early morning joggers and walkers – having themselves given in to the siren song of technology – don’t even bat an eyelid as I walk along talking into my Airpods and continuing a wide-ranging conversation.

It’s a practice that fits my continued tendency toward multi-tasking. It’s not enough just to walk and take in nature, there needs to be some other additional task mixed in to redeem the time somehow.

Multitasking has already been a long-term pursuit: when I check Overcast, it tells me that “Smart Speed” (functionality to skip automatically over any silences in that podcast I’m already playing back at double speed or more) has saved me an extra 387 hours beyond speed adjustments alone.

Am I missing out on something valuable by going so fast? Perhaps. Is the goal to experience each podcast at the speed it was recorded? To take in some more of the world’s vast store of information? to stay current on a broad range of topics? To make better decisions by having more information?

Or is this whole obsession with extra information just a distraction from what’s important?

The real change that I’m looking for – how I’m hoping to leverage the benefits of this extra time spent sleeping – is greater concentration on the people to whom I’m talking and listening.

It’s the conversations with people – two eternal creatures spending a slice of their finite earth-bound time together – where I want to make a difference, and not be dragged back to the endless hum of the social media machine, or the roar of the inbox, or the short-term adrenaline rush of the to-do list.

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