Software for the finest computer – The Mind


Posted by Tim Bryce on June 5, 2015


– Are we working harder or smarter?

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Ever notice as we grow older we tend to slow down. I have a theory on this. It’s not that we’re physically incapable of performing certain tasks, we’re just a lot smarter. Sure, we are not as strong or fast as we once were, but we are still able to handle the chores around the house. For example, I have a 98 year old friend who still mows his lawn. His eyesight has been waning, which caused him to turn in his drivers license and sell his car, but he still tends to his household, maybe not as robustly as he once did, but he tends to his chores nevertheless. As an aside, he was smart enough to know his limitations, causing him to voluntarily forfeit his license. Some keep driving well after they are capable of doing so and often end up in accidents, but not my friend.

In our 30s, 40s, even our 50s, we do not think twice about lifting something heavy. If you asked me to move a heavy rock or chop a tree, I would tackle the assignment readily. However, as I approached 60, I found myself saying, “Let me think about this first.” I now consider the variables involved, such as the difficulty of the task, whether I would pull a muscle, and what would be the best way to approach the problem. I now have no difficulty asking for help if necessary. At one time, my male ego would prohibit such a request, but not now.

Fortunately, I have an able-bodied son to help me and some friends I depend on for difficult tasks. I will even go so far as to hire helpers. To illustrate, some time ago I spread 130 bags of mulch around my property. I would purchase the mulch at a local home maintenance superstore, load the bags myself into a truck, bring it home, then place the bags around the property before cutting them open and spreading the mulch. Knowing what was involved, this Spring I decided to hire a lawn maintenance company to buy and spread the mulch. While they did this, I tended to trimming bushes and trees.

In calculating tasks now, I consider the tools and equipment involved, my energy level (to determine if I am up to the task), and my limitations (just like my friend). I think the lesson here is that as you grow older, you tend to work smarter, not harder. You calculate your priorities before tackling an assignment. You may no longer be able to quickly perform a task, but you suffer from fewer muscle spasms.

I still cut my grass, not to mention edge, hedge, trim and blow. I just hope I’m not doing it when I’m 98.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

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Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR SANITY – Try to stay off the roads and unplug your technology.

LAST TIME:  DIFFERENCES IN FAMILY VALUES  – Parenting would have prevented considerable destruction.

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3 Responses to “SLOWING DOWN?”

  1. Wayne Brown said

    Amen on that important observation, Tim. I no longer look on things as a function of whether I am “man enough” to do them. I break them down on the basis of “desire to do so”. Lifting 130 bags of mulch about the property does not even enter my “desire” level anymore. In my 60’s, I tend to do things because I “enjoy the process” and I can still be functional at it. That takes the work out of it for me. Long ago, I farmed out the yard work figuring out that the price of a lawnmower and the various other equipment needed for the task along with the eventually maintenance costs that go with them would go a long way to offset the expense of lawn care. Those guys show up at my house now and do in a half-hour what it use to take me three hours of my time to do each week. How much is 12 to 15 hours of my time worth on a monthly basis. If I assume that I can make as much as a Seattle burger-flipper, that amounts to $144 to $180 per month–that is more than enough for the yard care. That is “working smarter”. Forrest Gump enjoyed cutting grass and saw a sense of accomplishment in the task. I lost that feeling years back and certainly do not want anyone to find me face down on the lawnmower as my last effort. ~WB

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] SLOWING DOWN? […]


  3. […] be interesting; somewhat annoying, but interesting nevertheless. Last year I wrote a column titled, “Slowing Down,” (June 5, 2015) where I made the observation we slow down, not necessarily because of our physical […]


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