I often think the quest for “productivity” is less about living to ones potential, and is instead an attempt to be more robot. It seems the logic is by embracing routine we’ll impose order on our lives and somehow morph into productive beings. The movement seems to assume that what we do now isn’t productive and that being more productive is “better”. It assumes we can exert control over our lives and our environment. It never investigates these assumptions or explores their truth, but a a theology and a “science” have somehow grown up around them. Productivity is unquestionably good, and routine is the answer.
Robots and automatons are great. They can do things faster than people can. They can do things longer than people can. They don’t need food or wages. They don’t need health and safety. They don’t need leave or care. They just have routine. They are perfect.
I am not a robot.
I get hungry and tired and bored. My mind starts thinking about other things and I get distracted. Sometimes my work is sloppy. Sometimes I make mistakes. But I am not a robot, because I can change. I don’t need control or order because I can adapt. Whatever life throws at me I can cope with it. From flood and fire to death and new life. I can handle it because I don’t require routine. I don’t need to impose order, or the illusion of it.
Robots, automatons and the pathetic algorithms that supposedly represent Artificial Intelligence can’t change. They can’t learn. They can’t move. They can’t rethink. They can’t act or behave or operate outside of their parameters. They are robots. Routine driven.
I am not a robot, and I don’t want to be. Instead of looking at myself as being unproductive, I am simply being less robot. I am transducing. I am creating. I am defining my parameters and then breaking them. I am rewriting the code. I am resting, regenerating, restoring. I am self maintaining and repairing.
I am productive because I am not a robot. And if I’ve learnt anything in the past year it’s that I need to be less robot because life is chaos. It’s out of our control and I’m ok with that. I’m here for the journey, not the destination.