While updating my resume lately, I looked at a dozen examples of CVs online and noticed the phrases “results-oriented” and “data-driven.” These may be buzz words but they reflect the growing demand of employers to have measurable results. We all understand the need to take our experiences and observations and quantify or qualify them. From the moment of conception, we are measured and our health can be tracked throughout our lives. With advances in technology, we can better count our calories and steps, assess the mileage per tank of gas and determine the amount of REM sleep each night. Companies know what we listen to and watch on TV. If we do it, someone has probably tried to measure it, package it, and sell it. This is easier in the hard sciences (physics, biology, chemistry, ect.) than the soft or behavioral sciences, but the field seems to grow every day. Does anyone else get creeped out by how good the music suggestions are that they receive from Itunes?
For some reason, all this has led me to try and live the most productive life possible. Wasted time is now a mortal sin and it feels like if there is no measurable outcome, an effort is wasted. A day off from work is really just a day to be productive at home. Alas, my Germanic roots! This is the antithesis of the old demotivator poster, “Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.”
Perhaps with the unofficial start of summer just a few hours away and the plan of a long and leisurely run this weekend, my thoughts are pulling me towards an un-timed run tomorrow. It does not matter the distance or the pace. I plan on leaving my watch in the car and just looking at the trees and sky. Who cares how many calories are burned or the percentage change in grade over the course? These things make running seem more arduous than it is. I want to relax and not be productive. Perhaps letting go will enhance the “spiritual” side of exercise that seems to get squashed by the “economical” side of exercise. To paraphrase the old spiritual mantra, “One does not always have to ‘do’, one can just ‘be.’