I have been thinking a lot lately about convenience…
I mean, who doesn’t love Amazon. One stop shopping at your fingertips.
Click a button on your phone, and the product you want is on your doorstep as early as that day.
Heck, look around your house, I am sure you find countless devices and gadgets that make your life easier.
But here’s my question to you…with that convenience, what is it freeing you up for?
As I thought about it recently, but having more convenience, my desire was to be more efficient and have more time.
But for what?
As I thought about it, I just ended up filling the time that convenience provided me with more tasks and then making those more convenient.
But what I would argue, is that convenience should be a tool in our tool belt to CREATE more time for us to indulge in those activities that provide us pleasure.
And by their nature, those activities should not be done faster. We should indulge in time with them and enjoy the process.
Well I would argue that when you take your time with an activity and focus on doing it well, like an art, the outcome when finished is infinitely more appreciated and valued.
Let’s take an example…
If your like me and millions of Americans, you probably enjoy a cup of coffee. The taste and experience transport you to a memory of a vacation or travel. You may even associate it with a lazy Saturday morning and you enjoy savoring the flavor.
But over time, it becomes a task you must complete before you leave for work, and thus you need to make it more convenient.
So we buy that Mr. Coffee machine and you just click the button when you wake up and your coffee is ready when you rush out the door to drink in your car on the drive to work.
Any surprise here that the feeling you once loved about coffee has magically disappeared?
There is no process here. There is no effort. There is NO ART…
Convenience has over time killed the experience.
So let’s play devil’s advocate.
What if you woke up 15 minutes early to boil water. Use a french press. Watched patiently as the water steeped your artisan ground coffee. Then you sat down at a table and actually looked at your coffee and expressed gratitude for each sip.
I am going to bet that experience more mimics why you fell in love with coffee in the first place.
So, this blog is not intended to demonify convenience. It’s great and a staple of our culture.
However, I would challenge you to utilize convenience to create time to enjoy the process of the things you love.
Using convenience for more convenience is a trap.
Instead, use it as a tool to create art.