Modern Day Life – the cause or the solution for time management problems?

Businesswoman working in modern office

We have all experienced that feeling of the tightening in our chest when the boss comes to you at the end of the day and tells you they need something done by 8am tomorrow morning, you know you’ve got a million other things on your plate that need to be done but now this is added to the list. It’s just another example of how difficult it is living and dealing with the demands of our modern lives.

So when I was asked to write an article for our website I thought I would find the most efficient way to deal with the task, while still being able to deal with everything else going on in life. That’s when I came across oDesk, an online outsourcing website where you can engage thousands of different people from all over the world to complete tasks on your behalf. I posted my job, received a dozen applicants within a couple of hours and had hired an experienced writer, Likey, to assist in my difficult task. Likey came back to me with the following:

The Pace of Modern Day Living

Life in modern society is very different from what our ancestors were used to in the past. Life expectancy has increased but so too has the number of things we need to achieve within a lifetime in order to be accepted as “successful” and “accomplished” members of society.

Modern society is pushing us to be faster and more efficient than ever before, but what effect does that have on us? It’s a natural progression that is escalating with every year that goes by. If you think about travel and what it was like 100 years ago, journeys that used to take a lifetime can now be achieved in hours thanks to air travel. Bullock carts and horseback rides are novelties to be enjoyed on special occasions and romantic outings. In some heavily populated cities such as Hong Kong, taking time to walk is becoming a thing of the past – authorities have already taken steps to replace traditional walkways with commuter belts designed to reduce the time taken for travelling.

The changes in communication have now created a global network where communication is faster than ever before – instant messaging, text messaging and social networking make sure that anyone with access to the necessary technology can keep in touch and communicate effectively even from opposite sides of the world. Internet speeds are growing faster and faster thanks to new inventions such as gigabit Internet and the use of fibre optics for data transfers.

The effect is even felt in our health. Instant food is becoming increasingly popular. Microwaves are used in almost every household – removing the need to spend time over a hot stove to prepare food. All this is in spite of the fact that health threats related to unhealthy eating are being pointed out each day, society as a whole seems to be able to look past this as it means we can bypass the time taken to cook a traditional meal. However, the healthcare industry is also being updated to keep up with modern society. Operations that required time, patience and a team of doctors working against the clock can now be done in less than half the time with a single individual trained to manoeuvre a robotic arm. Painkillers and medication work instantly – modern life rushes by too fast to leave time for sickness.

We’re also seeing this in our working life more so than ever before. Having a job is not the same as it once was. Just a decade ago “working” meant commuting to a workplace where you had to stay and work. With modern technology, thanks to the Internet and freelancing websites such as oDesk, people can now choose to work in the safety and comfort of their homes. Outsourcing has become increasingly popular, providing the ability to get work done in a way that is mutually satisfying to both employer and employee, allowing the employer to outsource many of the tasks they don’t have the resources or economies of scale to be able to encompass within the business, while providing employees with ultimate flexibility, choosing between what they work on, the time they work and how they are remunerated.

Modern man is obsessed with speed, yet a day still has 24 hours in it – time hasn’t changed, even though people have. Patience and leisure time are things of the past – given up in the name of progress to keep up with the pace of modern life.

Everything from mobiles to televisions are now “smart”. Even items such as washing machines and refrigerators are being designed to be compatible with other household appliances, and almost all equipment is connected through the Internet. There are people who own toasters that send text messages or tweets when the bread is ready.  All made necessary because of the pace of modern life – time taken to wait for toast to be ready could have been spent more productively elsewhere.

Is There a Solution?

Modern technology has not, yet, succeeded in removing the need for human contact. We are still social animals and need to interact with others in order to survive. In spite of busy lifestyles, you can always rely on modern innovations such as smartphones and social networking to ensure you stay in touch with the people important to you at all times.

So take the time to consider how the benefits that come with our modern living can help to reduce the stress we face and create more time for ourselves and our families. It might mean outsourcing the financial stress you face to Blueprint Wealth? Or maybe it’s as simple as using Skype to touch base, face to face, with an overseas family member.

I’ll leave you with the final thoughts from Likey:

As the British philosopher Bertrand Russell said:

“We draw our nourishment from Earth just as the plants and animals do. The rhythm of Earth’s life, to which the human body has adapted through the ages, is slow. Rest is as essential as motion”.

It is necessary to adapt to the pace of modern living and make sure you do not get left behind, but it is equally important to remember exactly why you are rushing in the first place.

Like sea creatures being swept along the ocean by a strong current, all of us are being dragged forward by the pace of modern life. The important thing is to get your priorities right – don’t forget to reserve time for the little things in life while you’re rushing to get things done.

Casey Shaw is an associate financial advisor at Blueprint Wealth

Blueprint Planning Pty Ltd (ABN 78 097 264 554) trading as Blueprint Wealth and Casey Shaw are Authorised Representatives and Credit Representatives of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited ABN 89 051 208 327 Australian Financial Services Licence 232706 and Australian Credit Licence 232706

Disclaimer: This article contains general information only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the appropriateness of the information in light of your personal circumstances.

This information may contain references to other special offers or promotions by persons who are not part of the AMP group of companies.  This information is provided for convenience and information purposes only. AMP has not verified, and is not responsible for, the information provided by other parties or persons not part of the AMP group of companies.

Subject to any applicable law which cannot be excluded, AMP and Blueprint Wealth makes no warranties or representations regarding the quality, accuracy, merchantability or fitness for purpose of the goods or services available from these persons. Your obtaining of goods or services from these persons is at your own risk. You indemnify each member of the AMP group of companies against all liability, loss, damage, cost and expense arising from or relating to your obtaining goods or services from a third party referred to in this website/newsletter.