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Episode 55

Escaping the Cult of Efficiency

An obsession with goals, productivity, and checking things off can be really unhealthy. In this week's episode of the podcast, we explore how the Cult of Efficiency came to dominate our cultures and share 5 tips to help.

I’ll never forget this bit of feedback we got from a Seamwork member. We’d just begun putting together the goals feature in our community. This was an area where members could create and define their own personal sewing goals and track progress.

We knew how much sewists struggled to make time for their sewing, and that many of us yearn to set more intention behind the things we create. Setting personal goals seemed a great way to do that, and many seemed to agree. They were excited to see the feature come to life.

But a few people were skeptical, and one comment in particular stuck with me. In a nutshell, she said that she spends plenty of time at work with goals and checklists and to-dos, and she doesn’t want to do that in her free time too. Sewing is supposed to be fun, and to her, this sounded like work.

Now, I love setting goals because they help me focus on my real intention. But she’s right: an obsession with goals, productivity, and checking things off can be really unhealthy.

I call this the Cult of Efficiency. It’s the way the values of the modern workplace, namely efficiency and productivity, have seeped into every single aspect of our lives. We are always trying to do more in less time, even things that are supposed to be relaxing.

In this week’s episode of the podcast, we explore:

* How the Cult of Efficiency came to dominate our cultures (and how the deminse of handcraft played a role).
* Why creative hobbies can feel a bit like work (and also why that’s ok).
* How to recognize when you’re obsessing over efficiency.
* 5 tips to release yourself from the Cult of Efficiency.
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