The man who wore two watches

And when I asked him why, he explained (patiently) that they were the kind that auto-wound when they were moved. Therefore if he stopped wearing one of them, it would gradually wind down and ultimately stop. There’s a bit of me that approves of the belt-and-bracers approach of this (after all, he’s a lot less likely to not know what time it is because of a random watch failure than I am) but the majority of me things he’s bonkers.

  • Put one in a drawer and leave it there for goodness’ sake. You only need one watch – and you certainly only need one watch at a time.
  • Alternatively put one in a drawer and alternate which one you wear, so that they’re both charged. If they’re so easily wound down as to mean that a single day of not wearing them means they stop it’s probably time to retire the watch, frankly.

medium_39710195He’s also doing Sudoku like they’re going out of fashion – with the avoid intent that it’s to keep his brain active as he gets older… which of course explains not at all why he’s using a calculator to do all the actual work.

I’m reminded of an adage that has been floating around forever – Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. He can wear two watches, but should he?

But it seems to be a disease of the age. We can work from anywhere, so we do. We can pay an invoice from the train, so we do. We can order food from our phones to be delivered in a short period of time, so we do. We can pay someone to clean the house for us, so we do.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that getting someone else to do the things they do well but you do badly is automatically a bad thing, nor am I saying that buying your pizza via your phone is automatically a bad thing… it’s just that the word automatically rears its ugly head more than I’d like it to in the world I see around me. I’m aware of my own hypocrisy here, as I type this on a train, of course. Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.  What bugs me is that these things are adopted into our behaviours and culture (as ‘normal’) without consideration. And yes, I know this is an old topic but I’m turning into a grumpy old man, so I feel fine about floating a few suggestions for consideration:

  • whenever a new technique or technology passes your way, assume it’s a waste of time by default; make it earn it’s place in your life
  • set aside a little time every now and then to learn how to use the technology you’ve got (including it’s updates) properly, so that you’re on top of your game – you’re less likely to jump at new tech if you’re old tech does what it’s supposed to do and you may very well find that all the new tech does is something your old tech has got covered if you but knew how to use it properly.
  • put a bit of time in your diary every now and then to try out the new stuff, too! 🙂
  • do an audit of your habits every year (let’s say); personally I do that over the summer in my company’s quiet time rather than the traditional New Year. It makes more sense as I have time to research and embed new things then. Guess how I realised that this was a better time to make the move?  By doing an audit of my habits 😉
  • do something random and different every now and then, just to shake things up a bit. Read a poet you’ve never heard of. Something. Whatever. Then think seriously about if your old habits are okay. Let your default be that they are…

I’m not sure what the balance should be between trying the new and improving the old – I guess it depends on who you are and what you do.

photo credit: psd via photopin cc