Getting slower with age

Getting slower with age

How's your computer doing? Or your phone for that matter?

If it's new it's probably working great. It responds to your touch and / or clicks almost instantly and doesn't complain about having to do a bit of work.

If your computer is a few years old however, then you've probably noticed it's getting a little slow. It's no longer the plucky little number cruncher you brought home that one faithful day.

That's not to say that it's useless. It can still do what you need it to do, you just to be a little more patient.

Some of this slowdown is related to planned obsolescence. This is where companies purposely design a product to break after a short period of time, thereby forcing you to buy another one if you wish to continue using it.

(Apple do this all the time, they introduce software updates for your iPhone that result in the device feeling sluggish. They will claim that they're doing you a favor as it helps increase the lifespan of your battery [the battery that you can't simply take out and replace because they don't want you doing that either], but really they want you buying a shiny new iPhone every year.)

Some of the slowdown, however, is just a consequence of aging.

Software updates over time will place more demands on the hardware, so something that runs great one day might run poorly the next. An update may have only been tested on high powered new machines and/or not optimized for older machines.

Also, you will likely install more and more software as time passes, which can add additional overhead for your machine (especially when starting up).

So basically your computer just can't keep up with the additional responsibilities it takes on over time and struggles to adapt to changing technology... Sound familiar?

What does it all mean?

We all experience the same thing that a computer does as we age. Over time we take on new roles and responsibilities and struggle to manage them all.

A job, a partner, a child, a mortgage.

Whatever it is it will require time and effort to maintain. The more items on that list the more time and effort in maintaining that list, just like our computer with all its software running.

Then there are things like illness and age to consider. Our hardware gradually deteriorates over time, just like that of a computer. Instead of failing hard-drive read heads and cracked screens it's creaky joints and clogged arteries.

Then our software needs updating. New technology and advancing society means we need to constantly keep our skills up to date or risk becoming obsolete.

This aging process can't be avoided, but can be managed.

On your computer you can manage the software you have installed, monitor what you've got running in the background and control which programs automatically run when you start the operating system (for example, if you install Skype it will add it self to a list of startup apps and try to always run in the background by default).

You can also make sure to clean up your hard drive from time to time and avoid downloading things from untrustworthy sources on the internet and have some sort of malware protection.

It's work, but it's worth spending a little time often to stay on top of it.

The same goes for your body.

Move regularly, avoid bad posture (ie. Sitting at a desk for hours without moving), avoid stress where possible (don't try to do so much that you're constantly under pressure), sleep well.

Then there's food - junk food is just like junk software, it slows you down, makes you run less efficiently.

Whether managing a computer or your own body, both are just systems and are subject to the same general principles.

In both cases the smart thing to do is invest a little time regularly and consistently to maintaining the health of the system, rather than trying to deal with catastrophic failure somewhere down the line.

Three physical health tests you should do every day

Three physical health tests you should do every day

The law of conservation of effort

The law of conservation of effort