I, John, seem to spend half my time encouraging people to spend their precious time on this planet caring less what others think and doing more what the fuck they fancy. And the other half encouraging very motivated and successful people to relax a little and play more, and stop worrying about the ‘utility’ of everything. For myself, I seem to spend half my time excitedly planning and working through things that I love doing (like writing books, making videos and writing emails.)
And the other half trying to be somewhat less focussed, and poddling around doing nothing in particular. Certainly nothing with a specific aim.
I have two ways of judging that I’m doing well –
- I think ‘shit, look what I did with my time, wow’.
- I think ‘shit, what have I been doing with my time, what a waste’.
And if you’re confused by the fact that I’m both suggesting I have two lives (four ‘halves’) and that I’m offering diametrically opposed advice, the point at its simplest is this –
Spend some of your time fully focussed and motivated doing something you love, or that feels like a big contribution in someway, that fulfils a purpose you might feel you have…
AND… spend some time in some purposeless meandering pottering joyful pointless something or other.
SO TRY NOT to spend any time lost in the middle: doing purposeful but energy-sapping joyless stuff that you dread.
I’m tempted to make a list. But any list I make of my purposeful but energy-sapping stuff will be another person’s joyful nirvana, and yet another person’s waste of time.
I say all this, of course, on purpose, on a Saturday.
The day when we’re often torn between purposeful and meaningful chores and activities and the whole gamut of activity and non-activity and Netflix-and-pizza binging that we might call ‘a waste of time’.
Right, I’m now leaving my to-do list in order to waste some time. And I’m not going to tell you why it’s good for you (and me). I’m going to let you figure that out for yourself in the best way possible – by wasting some time yourself.