AI speeds us up, so we can slow down
Warning, this is a personal post
AI is nothing short of fantastic. ChatGPT enables us to do more in less time. It takes over some of those boring, dreading tasks that waste our precious time.
While we speed up on productivity, somewhere deep down, I feel it’s not sustainable to be always on and live life at a high pace enabled by AI.
More than ever, now it comes down to the mental game. It’s about balance. One needs and feeds the other. While we speed up on one side, we must slow down on the other.
Just thinking out loud, isn’t the rise of AI a humungous opportunity to slow down as well? Live our business life in the fast lane and our private life in the slow lane.
The trends that made me think…
The rise of de-influencing. Sometimes enough is enough. A rising trend to buy quality over quantity.
Less is more. Less is better.
And more sustainable. More ethical. More authentic. This goes for clothes as well as for food, furniture, and all other products.
The crockpot over the microwave. We prefer those homemade meals that are made from scratch with all-natural ingredients.
You can see this slow food trend in the rise of brands like IronClad Pan that embrace the more sustainable and wholesome way of eating and preparing food. Cooking on the iron cast is not only more relaxed, it's also healthier and ups your iron intake, and.. you can make it non-stick just like any teflon. To summarize my love for iron cast, the pan will last for life; there is no need to replace it, and it can be handed over to the next generation.
And let's face it, food and drinks that require a little more time, love, and care to be prepared also are enjoyed with a bit more pleasure.
If you go all in, you get your veggies fresh at the farmer's market or even grow your own. TikTok is filled with recipes and how-to’s to awaken your green fingers. Even I’m stepping in and growing my own herbs in my small city apartment.
Maybe it’s me being a coffee snob and influencing my friends. More and more of them are lured to the slow coffee brewing method. The ECM half automatic machine and grinding your own coffee beans. A percolator. Or pour-overs.
Out with the Nespresso and full-automatic Jura. In with the slow coffee, for which you really need some patience to prepare your espresso or latte.
I never expected to really enjoy those three quality minutes it takes to make my doppio. It’s like a little escape from the reality rush rush back-to-back video meetings and having all my attention to the grinding, brewing, and waiting those 28 seconds it takes for the doppio to fill the stylish little cute coffee cup with black gold.
And it's also cheaper and more sustainable than the aluminum Nespresso cups. A Nespresso doppio is 2 x € 0.45 = € 0.90. The ECM is € 0.55 for a doppio. If you're a coffee snob like me, that adds up. You'll find the calculation in the last paragraph.
Not more, better. Totally in line with the de-influencing trend. Better quality clothes are usually more sustainable and last longer. And, for me, very important; they feel better on my skin. Buttery smooth, soft to the touch, while looking amazingly relaxed.
There’s a real difference between a cheap-ass linen t-shirt from H&M and a high-end one from Isabel Marant. The first I wear a few times, and then it already looks crappy. Therefore I throw it away. The second is crazy expensive, yet I’ve been wearing it for over three summers a few times a week, and only now, in the fourth season, it starts to look a bit worn out.
Cost per wear is what counts in the long term. Not only for the environment, also for my wallet. The cheap-ass was € 6.65 per wear, and the high-end still last and now is € 1.16 per wear. See the calculation in the last paragraph for the curious and number-nerds.
As stated by fashion brand Yoli & Otis,
‘An Ordinary Life reflects on the importance of slowing down, but enjoying the new pace, finding solace in the stillness and mundane details through that feeling of comfort and discovering beauty in the moment.’
Importance of mental wellbeing
One thing we really need to thank Corona for is the rise of awareness and the importance of mental well-being. You don't have to keep it secret anymore if you're not doing fine. You can say it out loud if you're struggling and feeling overwhelmed.
We finally acknowledge there needs to be a balance between work and play. One feeds the other. The mental game is equally important. And when needed, without shame, we can take a step back.
You see this in the work environment and the sports. One of the promising talented ladies in CrossFit, Mal O'Brien, recently stepped back from competing this season while she was the expected new number one. Nothing but respect and appreciation for her knowing when to push it and when not.
Quality time with friends and family. I want to meet them in person instead of a quick meet-up or video call. I’m online all day, every day. Connected to everything and everyone.
I miss the quality time to slow down and have real attention to each other. Therefore I’m more than willing to make the extra step to meet up in person, even if that means I have to drive for over one hour.
More than ever, I have the urge to shut off my phone in the evening. Don’t take it with me to the bedroom for endless scrolling.
During the day, going for a phoneless walk in between meetings. To clear my mind and create headspace to endure and rock those upcoming Teams sessions.
Going to dinner with friends, I’ll leave my phone at home if they live within walking distance, or I’ll put it in flight mode. I want quality time without that itchy feeling or even need to check my phone.
What do you think
Is this slowing down a counterbalance for the speeding up? Or am I seeing my own Gremlins, and is it the coming of age?
Happy to hear your thoughts, as I can’t find research or trend reports on this delicate balance that we need as human beings.
We can’t be always on. Or race on the high-speed technology enables us to do.
One needs the other. If we speed up, we need to slow down on the other side to live a mentally and physically sustainable life.
To go fast, I need to go slow. I can't and don't want to perform and deliver my high pace AI-enhanced creative work without my super slow mental pace.
Yoli and Otis, ‘An ordinary life’ collection summer 2023
Nespresso doppio is 2 cups for € 0.45 per cup. That's € 0.90 per doppio.
ECM semi-automatic. A doppio is 18 to 20 grams of ground coffee. If I buy 6kg of my favorite coffee, I get a 15% discount, which equals € 28.90 per kg. That's € 0.55 per doppio.
I've left out the purchase and maintenance of the machines as that's a one-time investment. I know for a fair calculation I should include these, yet for now, I've chosen not to. I'm not a scientific journalist or researcher; I'm a content nerd and a slow fashion, food, and coffee lover who writes.
Cost per wear calculation
The cheap-ass linen by H&M (or equally fast fashion brand, I don't remember as I cut out the stinging label).
Purchase € 19.95
Worn 3 times, I don't feel good in it, and the fabric is rough and itchy to my skin, even though it's real linen. It's slowly disappearing to the back of my closet to be forgotten and replaced.
Cost per wear: € 19.95 / 3 = € 6.65
The high-end Isabel Marant and I are heading into our fourth summer together.
Purchase € 120,00
Wear it about 2 or 3 times a week in summer, let's say for 4 to 5 months a year. Sometimes I also wear it in the other seasons.
2 x 4.3 weeks x 4 months x 3 years = 103
Cost per wear: € 120 / 103 = € 1.16