Has an easy undo feature trained us to work at high-speed but low focus?
When it’s always easy to undo and correct, there’s no reason to focus on getting things right, or even thinking things through before doing them.
Handwriting (or typing on a typewriter) a document meant being focused on the task because any mistakes meant ugly cross marks or rewriting the page.
Similarly, working with physical objects – in a carpentry class in college, or cooking a simple dish – required strong focus. A wrong cut in a wood slab meant a wasted slab or a hacked joint. A dish could end up overcooked or unsalted.
But when working on a computer, any errors due to a lack of attention can easily be rectified with a simple undo, removing the need for full focus in the moment.
As we (I) spend more of our time—work and leisure—on computers, we may have trained ourselves to expect the undo feature everywhere.
This mental training (‘all errors are undoable’) creeps into our non-computer activities and interactions. We may be forgetting to stay fully focused in the moment, to think ahead (before we speak/do), and thus may be becoming more inefficient/incapable than before.
There were lots of setbacks in 2018 – some of them enough to drive me back into depression just by themselves. So I am not going to pore over them. Instead I am going to take note of some of the successes…
I climbed at least 10 floors every day++
I averaged about 23 floors/day, with a peak of 154 floor equivalents* on a day when I went for a long hilly run.
I climbed 10 floors even in the days after injuring my ankle. Neighbours noticed as I hobbled up and down (down was worse) our steep drive way to get those 10 floors.
Steps target completed every day for 6 months++
I finished my step target every day for the later 6 months of the year. I started on 1st July, half way through the year, and a month and a half after the injury so the foot could manage 5K+ steps without discomfort.
I don’t have money, and I need a lot. So, I need to save money.
I have strict work and personal relations targets this year. They require me to be very focused, and not squander time or attention. I need to be frugal with my time and cognitive capacity this year.
I have set myself a target for running time, and I have an entry in London Marathon to address last year’s failings. Combined with demands for attention on work and relationships, I can’t afford to waste time or energy this year. I need to be frugal with my physical and mental energy, as well as with time.
I weigh too much, having gained 10 kg in the 7 months since the ankle injury. I need to lose weight, eat frugally.
It didn’t rain today. Mostly. There were passing showers throughout the day, but nothing stuck around long enough.
Spoke to Ma. It was a long chat, and a generally happy one. It was nice to hear her sound cheerful, after 5+ years of sleep deprivation & tiredness, and a few weeks of crying, loss and loneliness.
We went for a run. I ran 7K on the road – to the cathedral and back up – and then took the boys for a lap on the ridge (~3K). It was better than yesterday’s run – legs felt better, faster. Felt a tiny bit stronger.