“Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” Charlie
I am not at all suggesting that you put off that which absolutely must be done today. I virtually never miss a real deadline. I deliver! Although, in truth, there are indeed a very few things that absolutely must be done today. In the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, I rank among those more prone to relying on “guidelines” rather than “deadlines.
Today I am writing about living a non-rushed and falsely busy life—the kind of life based on meeting self-imposed deadlines. In today’s post Seth Godin suggests building “slack” into your schedule. If you miss a train, don’t worry, there is most likely another one on its way.
Seth writes, “Sometimes, we choose to use the urgent crises as fuel. We set up our lives around creating deadlines, reminding ourselves that if we cross that line, we’re dead.” And none of that is true, especially if the supposed deadline is still a way’s off.
Life in Lisbon: No Expectations
Perhaps that is why I am so enjoying my time in Lisbon. I have no deadlines, no places I feel the need to visit, no sites I long to see, and no people with whom I need to meet. It is just me beginning each morning with a delightful routine including my normal rituals and then breakfast at Pao de Canela, where I eat exactly the same meal every single day, at varying hours of the day, from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. It all depends on what time I go to sleep and what time I arise in the morning.
I use clocks for information, not for guidelines. Some evenings I go out for dinner while others I simply eat breakfast cereal for dinner because I have no desire to cook, shop, or maintain a crowded refrigerator—except for that quart of exquisite handmade ice cream from Nannarellas.
Some “Must Do’s,” Of Course
My wife, on the other hand, is on a girl’s trip in London where every day is planned and filled with things to do from early morning to late at night. I told her that her trip, to me, felt rather neurotic. She laughed… and agreed. “Not for you,” was her comment. No shit!
I am loving the “real” freedom from appointments, deadlines, cluttered office, and ridiculous emails. I have only three sort of “must-do’s”: one blog on Saturday, one podcast, with very minimal preparation, on Wednesday, and then the one more difficult assignment of beginning the book I have wanted to write for six months.
Tomorrow Can Be Just as Productive as Today
Now, while this book is, indeed, troubling to write because I am only just beginning to get a feel for how I want to write it, it is nevertheless “stress-less.” Whatever I complete is what I will complete… without a deadline.
After all, I can always write on it tomorrow!
Hurry, Hurry, Hurry
The Curse of Busy American Life
Photo courtesy of Pheelings Media at istockphoto