Time to test.
Time to test.
The antidote to busyness.
When I’m overrun I find my natural reaction is to throw more work at it.
The solution is usually the opposite of this.
When I stop, I’ll often find I’ve been running in the wrong direction entirely. Sometimes for weeks or months. Or years…
You’re never too busy to stop.
Via Bertrand Russell’s amusing “In Praise of Idleness“
“Every one knows the story of the traveler in Naples who saw twelve beggars lying in the sun (it was before the days of Mussolini), and offered a lira to the laziest of them. Eleven of them jumped up to claim it, so he gave it to the twelfth.”
A lesson in that perhaps?
Cabin installation- take 2.
Must remember to saviour these moments, will undoubtably look back and laugh.
Whatever happened to leisure?
Author Ryan Holiday defines leisure as- “freedom from the work needed to survive, freedom for intellectual or creative pursuits.”
Many of history’s greatest figures, from Ben Franklin to Churchill, took leisure seriously. Reading, writing, painting, socialising, walking even, all scheduled into their days.
Leisure is following our curiosity and delighting in the world around us.
Yet today, it has been replaced by seeking stimulation.
From binging Netflix to scrolling through Social Media, our downtime is today about stoking our overstimulated minds to drown out the stresses of everyday life.
We no longer get the restoration leisure once provided.
On Thursday we (Unplugged) tried to install our first cabin.
At time of writing it’s sitting abandoned at the side of a (quiet) road in Hertfordshire.
Fingers crossed no one steals it.
So what went wrong?
We took a gamble.
The site we chose is accessible across 200m of arable field.
This poses a problem for a 25tn lorry carrying an additional 8tns of cabin. Yet we weren’t too worried- “It’s June, it’ll be bone dry” we thought.
Cue a week of storms.
Initially I was agitated. Another £1.5k to finish the job next week. Plus a further delay.
But the more I think about it, the more I’m seeing the upside of getting it wrong. The more we f**k up for this first cabin the better (in reason).
Because now is the perfect time to learn.
We have no experience of cabins. No experience of solar panelling, land dealings, farms, the list goes on. And whilst a successful install would teach us some of the above, it is in failure that we really dig in and see the truth.
Viewed through this lens, the situation becomes rather enjoyable.
In fact, short of the cabin being stolen or trashed, I hope we have a few more upsets along the way.
When was the last time you took a digital detox?
Give it a try!
I’ve started switching off my devices between 6pm and 9am.
What I’ve noticed (after the initial anxiety subsides) is an unusual sense of calm and level headedness.
“That’s strange.” I thought on one occasion. “Where’s this come from?”
Then I realised my mistake:
This is our natural state.
We ‘re designed to be calm and level headed (when not being chased by a lion).
Yet due to the overstimulation of life in 2020, we rarely experience this! Instead we’re a jumpy bundle of nerves.
Unplug. Try it.
Human’s are irrational.
There’s some fascinating research that judges are far more likely to grant parole immediately after a brake.
It’s not a close run thing either. The probability goes from around 65% after the break down to almost zero by the next break!
We may not be as in control of our decisions as we think.
Or perhaps it’s just judges?
There is nothing quite as humbling as looking up at the stars.
I find all the silly worries and anxiety of the day melt away when I consider I’m one of the seven billion humans hurrying about our lives on a giant ball hurtling through space. And that ball is itself an insignificant prick vs the immense size and emptiness of the universe.
The 8 hour workday comes from the factory shift.
It takes a worker 10 minutes to build a widget.
In 8 hours they build 48.
In 4 hours they only build 24.
I can understand the logic.
But what of those not making widgets? The lawyers, the consultants, the marketers, the entrepreneurs even.
These fall under what management guru Peter Drucker might have called “Knowledge Workers”- They earn a living by thinking and making good decisions.
Yet good decision making is hard to come by.
What if the answer is working less?
Here are three reasons a shorter workday could be the key:
We’re so afraid of change that we rarely stop to ask- “Is there a better way?”.
Just maybe- there is.