As we creep into Autumn trying to decipher the news of topsy-turvy exam result algorithm’s, that throw the already questionable academic inflation and future of A.I into question, it’s time to simplify our lives surely?
With unprecedented (article word of the year) and gloomy unemployment data, broadcast with an almost ubiquitous frequency, (as I write 7000 Marks and Sparks loyal employees are the next wave to go) – now is the time, whilst sitting at home with many posturing increased productivity, through the worlds new connectivity window of Zoom, to think smart and think small.
I thought just for fun it might be a good time to experiment with some lifestyle writing (let’s face it AA Gill started at 38 and he was dyslexic), so there’s hope for all of us and if you’ve got this far it bodes well. I also feel morally obliged to disrupt LinkedIn content a little, to help break up the monotony and repetition of the posts, centered around the ‘look at our training day, its bigger than yours’ company updates, or almost ad nauseam, the often rather awkward photographs promoting the ‘certificate of recognition’ awards, to keep the Learning and Development Departments engaged in these troubled times.
So where is this all leading, well, let’s start with a just-for-fun simplification strategy that centres around ditching something in your everyday life, like your coffee machine, because if its anything like mine it drives you mad doesn’t it? Every time you ask it to do what it was designed to do, it says that it needs water, or beans, or some form of complex decalcifying procedure, which means you have to spend the next half hour shouting at your family or partner because the instruction book is not in the drawer, where all the instruction manuals are supposed to be kept. If you do then find it, it’s full of complex annotated drawings that make no sense.
Of course, you may have a much simpler Nespresso machine, which produces coffee without much palaver at all. Yes, but is there anything on God’s green Earth that generates so much waste? One day we’ll all drown in a sea of Clooney capsules. Talking of capsules have you ever tried to buy them? I visited a store the other day and they asked if you have an account with Nespresso, by which it means a facility to sell your data to more luxury suppliers after obtaining your inside leg measurement, biometrics and a retinal scan. If you do have an account and put your purchases on it, it takes exactly ten minutes longer than by just paying with your credit card.
So if like me you wish to pursue a simpler, happy, and stress-free life, put your machine in the bin and crack open the Nescafe jar, remember that?
While you’re at it you could turn off the TV and listen to more records. Cut yourself off from the world, it’s so liberating. I do this more and more and find myself enjoying and slipping into an almost blissful ignorance around Trump re-election shenanigans, Covid-19, and the gloom and doom of recessionary woes and enjoying an almost utopia of a trouble-free world. In fact, I was so ignorant from my frequent unplugging from the grid, I thought the Michael Jackson tour was passing through, judging by all the face masks in town and he’d renamed his pet monkey Wuhan.
Next, you should throw away everything that needs a charger. Just imagine actually travelling with a suitcase full of clothes and your favourite book and not cables, adapters, plugs and wires.
It’s the same thing with your complicated driverless lawnmower and your octopus pool cleaner or motorised pepper grinder. You imagined such things would make your life easier, but instead you have to spend every spare moment shouting at them because they’ve gone wrong.
So what’s happening? Well, it only dawned on me recently how really important we actually all are. Our years of mass consumption, and consumerism for all these gadgets, devices and aspirational luxuries that you just don’t need, is what kept it all sticky, greased and turning. I’d fallen into a space that the brands I was loyally purchasing from were doing me a favour, when in fact its vice-versa, food for thought here and a big shift in consumer behaviour and beliefs is already unfolding. Rolex and Hermes perplexed at the disappearance of luxury consumers can you believe for the first time have stopped production, only this week. Mass consumerism grinding to a halt perhaps is actually bigger than Covid-19, hard to believe but truth well told perhaps. There’s no vaccine for consumer spending reticence/resistance, just high-street closures and more unemployment. Governments stretched to the limits with burgeoning deficits have already splashed the cash in stimulus packages, that as predicted fell short and was a flash in the pan offering only a brief respite.
The solution perhaps, ‘live light, love local’. I’ve found myself in this simpler, less noisy, brave new world and it’s currently working for me. I was forced to adopt a very Coke Light approach and existence to my life a year before the pandemic. This re-centering was well-timed, giving me more flexibility and freedom to reboot, retool and evaluate what really matters in life including a much-needed speedy departure to leafy Gloucestershire before an intense and strict lockdown in Dubai. I can assure you the latest car and tech gadget is no longer relevant for so many now, which is already wobbling the world of many super brands. This gloomy retail index type news is for all to see, assuming your TV News is still on and you’re not listening to records.
More than 25 years experience transforming the way companies engage with their markets, clients, and employees. Award-winning marketing director and hands-on-enabler, focused on driving innovative marketing communication strategies.