Efficiency isn't always efficient

Do you feel like you're always in a rush? Always behind?
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is real. It creates insane behaviors in us.

We have forgotten that this earthly life will eventually end. We rush towards achieving ephemeral goals. Successes that won't last.

A few days ago, I read someone commenting that "podcasts have poor signal/noise ratio. One should not listen to them, but throw them to AI and read the summary."

Wow. That had me pause for a second.
It is easier to see absurdity expressed by others than yourself. And this made me realize our collective absurd behavior towards productivity.

We want to cram every minute with usefulness.

It is deeply satisfying to do. To complete, to create, to learn. There is, however, a limit that one should not cross. Passed it, we enter the realm of unhealthy productivity. The obsessive kind that closes our eyes to the goodness of life.

Passed this limit, we worship productivity for the sake of it. The goals become blurry and only count the number of tasks marked as done. Or the volume of knowledge acquired. Often superficially acquired.

Absurd as it is, squeezing every moment to make it useful makes us dumb and less creative.

Let's be practical and go back to the example of our friend and his podcast summaries. He misses the context of the joke by going straight to the punchline. He doesn't allow his mind to travel with the podcast guest as he explains how he came to the conclusion.

And that matters tremendously because this travel is precisely how you allow an idea to interwove with your mind.

It doesn't happen only the moment the actionable part of the conclusion is revealed. It happens multiple times while listening to the story that leads to it.

It is the same with books. A few years ago, book summarization services were very popular. I wonder if they still are. I subscribed to one of these, and while the summaries were reasonably good, a three-minute read produces a different effect on your brain than reading a book over a week.

Sure, some books are full of fluff, but nobody is forcing you to read said fluff. You can skip, go back, and speed-read some parts. Sorting through the material also gives your mind a chance to change. It makes it an active process.

Accumulating knowledge is important.
Making it a satisfying endeavor is also important.