In our jaded modern world it seems that there is one more thing we can be sure of (besides death and taxes), and that's lack of free time.
But lack of free time is really just another way of saying busyness. Busyness implies inefficient and imprecise meeting of needs and wants.
In the line of Zen philosophy I propose a solution to our problems: constrain our busyness by downgrading certain things in our lives to force more creative and intelligent solutions to our every day desires.
- Frustrated by attending meetings where most participants are participants in name only? Downgrade notebook computers to paper notebooks and pen to make the most interesting part of the meeting the actual topic at hand and not email (or sports scores, or Facebook or etc.)
- Channel surfing not providing adequate entertainment? Sell the Plasma, and downgrade to two lively dogs and library cards. (Note: pets are super-high technology... they never need upgrading)
- Sick of checking email every 10 minutes only to find that nothing new has come in? Downgrade to checking email only as often as the real mail comes in.
- Still feel lonely after using Facebook or MySpace? Downgrade to real face-to-face interactions at the original Facebooks (coffee shops, pubs, churches etc.) which are remarkably efficient at providing real time communication...and with no carpal tunnel!
- Working like crazy but still no promotions? Downgrade to working less hours and emphasizing productivity and developing truly good ideas. Genius takes time!
- Trying to lose weight unsuccessfully? Try downgrading from a car to a bicycle. For most inter-city trips of less than 1-2 miles the time for bicycle travel and car travel are quite similar.
- Tired of running around with 3 or 4 women? Try downgrading to Monogamy.
- Tired of partying and having a million acquaintances but no real friends? Try downgrading to a 'best-friend' and several 'close' friends.
- Got road rage? Downgrade to the bus or light rail.
- Working 50 hours a week to pay the mortgage on the giant house you're not ever there to enjoy? Downgrade to a more efficient and smaller house.
- Children not well behaved? Downgrade to a less time consuming job and spend more time with them.
- Wife/Husband unhappy that you have no time to romance her/him? Downgrade to a less independent lifestyle and one in which you must function as a unit for mutual success. Also see above.
- Bored of work? Downgrade to volunteering.
- Video Games not cutting it anymore? Downgrade to regular games... like basketball.
- Can't get enough? Downgrade to giving.
Mathematically there are two ways to solve a problem, the brute force guess-and-check way, and the more elegant determinate solution. Life is something of a math problem and there is one thing we can be certain of... Death, the ultimate constraint. Don't waste time guessing and checking and being busy, spend your time wisely by really living and seeking the things that everyone needs - love.