less calendars, more time?
I’m not completely sold on this idea, but I’m going to try it anyway. The problem I’m trying to solve is the feeling of not having enough time. At work I use time blocking and that has had a significant positive effect on the amount of work I can get done. I took the practice home, but I’m not sure that it’s working out.
In my life, I’ve been unduly attracted to ‘try this one weird trick’ ideas. I’ve found myself looking for hacks and tricks and workarounds. All in the service of…what exactly?
And that’s the problem. Or challenge. I get caught up in the shiny possible and forget the actual point, which is to achieve a certain kind of life.
Recently I was with someone whose worldview seemed to be that luxurious surroundings and things are worth working for. This way of thinking made me vaguely uneasy. Soon after, I fell into playing Beyonce’s ‘Renaissance‘ on a pretty constant loop. At one point or other she says ‘we don’t like plain’ and I had a surprising visceral ‘no’ reaction given the fact that our ‘conversation’ was at best, asynchronous:-).
Because I don’t get the point of luxury and I quite like plain with pops of cool. It’s all a matter of preference, and I won’t get on Beyonce’s internet and say she’s wrong to love what she loves. But what I love about her recent work, and so many others, is that I get the opportunity to refine my own thinking in parallel to theirs. Love their art for helping me learn what my art is. Learning where my art lives.
Time blocking in my non-work life has led to tons of digital calendars and not actually doing enough. So the digital calendar for stuff like the social security project (pretty essential at 64, natch) sat there for an embarrassingly long time, y’all. With periodic calendar entries exhorting me to do something about my slightly tangled situation.
The calendar for my podcast is only active now because I’m taking The Podcast Workshop with Alex DiPalma. I’ve dreampt for years about taking this workshop. And I have a calendar for it. So that adds to the long dropdown list of calendars.
Because there are so many calendars each one seems a little less valuable. Or they all have the same amount of value. And I just go through my evenings and weekends doing whatever comes to mind, and the careful calendar timeblocks sit there, disapproving.
Or I do nothing and feel mad guilty.
It’s not the fault of the calendar tool.
I just realized that too many spoken-for blocks of time led to a colorful, meaningless mess. My rebel nature kicks in and I reflexively do whatever the calendar **doesn’t** say. And end the evening exhausted feeling like I’ve wasted time. Which I can’t get back, yadd yadda, etc.
This means that the time I have to do art, to make stuff and publish it, is taken up with working on hacks to create the time to make stuff and publish it. And that makes no sense at all.
So this morning I deleted most of my 19 different calendars. I’m down to 6, just 3 of which are about my art. I made the blocks of time longer, so there’s a sense of freedom: with my personality, freedom is the ultimate hack.
Results? I need more time to see what happens. But if you see a piece about James Baldwin coming up in your feed shortly, you can smile knowing that ‘delete’ is the reason.