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To Be Productive You Have To Know How To Be Unproductive

Become Like A Spring

A spring draws its strength from the fact that it is not always tense or relaxed. It is the alternation of these two states that guarantees its optimal performance. The same is true of human productivity, starting with your brain. Your brain works in two worlds: focus and diffuse. When you work intensely on a subject, you are soliciting the focus world of your brain. When you are walking, playing sports or taking a shower for example, you are in a diffuse mode. The two are complementary. The diffuse mode allows the focus world to recharge itself and vice versa.

Learn To Be Relaxed

In order to work intensely and tautly, you need to know how to alternate with periods of total relaxation. The problem is that we don’t really know how to do this most of the time and that we feel guilty when we allow ourselves moments of relaxation. However, knowing how to relax is essential for effective work. Like the spring, relaxation has an influence on tension.

What Activities Can Help You Relax?

Essentially, you have to stop using your brain in focus mode and use your body more. Here are some activities that can help you relax:

– Meditating
– Sleeping
– Swimming
– Sunbathing
– Running
– Talking with friends
– Drawing
– Playing a musical instrument
– Sewing
– Cleaning the house
– Washing dishes
– Eating your favorite food
– …

Start By Adding One Relaxing Habit At A Time

The Art Of Doing Nothing

What is interesting is that originally, work was considered exclusively physical. Intellectuals considered study a hobby. Today it’s the other way around, a large part of the jobs in developed countries are more cerebral. At the end of the day, people rush to the gym, dance studio or dojo to exercise their sedentary bodies.

What Will Happen When Ai Does Most Of The Work?

AI will take the work of millions of people, while allowing a gain in productivity. Humanity will become idle and will have to occupy itself like the Greek and Roman citizens whose societies relied on a flock of slaves. The new slaves are machines and algorithms. They are supposed to free us from working time that we could use to work for the advancement of civilization (all Greek philosophers and mathematicians owned slaves for the most part).

Ai Forces Us To Ask New Questions About Productivity

AIs think better than the average human. What made us productive yesterday will no longer be what makes us productive tomorrow. The reason for this is simple: AI will do what we thought was productive much better. This is where the idea of relaxation and diffuse brain mode can be interesting even if at first glance it seems to be a flaw. One of the things that distinguishes AI from humans is that it can function without interruption. There is no real limit to the computing power except perhaps the material infrastructure (servers, etc.) necessary to carry out these calculations. Humans are at a loss if they have to compete with today’s AIs in many more or less creative and intellectual tasks.
Yet, what makes us human is not really our capacity to produce (on the scale of humanity, productivity is a recent concept) nor our capacity to create (most humans do not show a great capacity for creation) but rather our capacity to solve problems at the collective level and to create social links at the individual level.

Perhaps we should associate the notion of productivity with the idea of civilizational advancement? Machines cannot supplant us in this domain. They are the tools that humans have created, they are the very product of our civilization, the tool cannot replace the artisan. What is produced by AI is a product of human know-how.

Civilizational Productivity

If in the past civilization was defined as advances in the technical, artistic, philosophical, moral and scientific domains, today it should be more in the moral domain since we have reached a very advanced level in the technical domain but it is out of step with the level of human consciousness. Machines are amoral by definition (at least for the moment). They consider as moral what the men who program them or the data on which they are based, find moral. Raising the level of human consciousness is the main role our generation must play. A hypertechnical society cannot survive if it is not at the same time hyperaware.

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