Spontaneity is dead.
I’ve only been back from Kenya for a couple of weeks and already my diary is chock-a-block full for every evening and weekend for the next couple of months.
How did this happen? I’m sure this isn’t part of the simplicity process?
Certainly it is nice to feel so ‘wanted’ by others to have plans-a-plenty, but without room for spontaneity, life becomes rather fixed. Certainly time passes much more quickly when one is always rushing from one ‘do’ to another. Is that a good thing?
Yesterday someone who I don’t know very well but would love to know better texted me and asked me for a drink. We gave up trying to find a suitable spot when we got two months away without an opening. They probably think I’m avoiding them – the opposite of the sentiment I was hoping to portray.
One of the reasons that I find London difficult is the sensation that this phenomenon is true for everyone. Each event or meeting is filled with people who are only there for a pre-planned period. People are continually aware of where they are going to be and when, meaning there is little fluidity. The distance needed to get around town also means that plans have to be made early.
It’s a sad state of affairs to live in a pre-ordained world of peripateticism and, I am convinced, it leads to the discontentment that drives much of our consumerist, self-centred behaviour.
I’d like to reclaim my valuable time and leave room for spontaneity and even, God forbid, boredom. Not that I actually want to be bored but much of this planning is about avoiding boredom, rather than enabling fulfilment.
A few simple diary rules for the Simpletom:
1) Leave one or better still two nights a week plan-less, but book them into your diary as ‘free’ so you aren’t tempted to fill them.
2) Book out times in the day in your diary to complete important tasks, or go for a walk
3) Say ‘maybe’ to all events if you can without upsetting people, leaving you the opportunity to cancel if necessary.
4) Over-estimate how much time things will take rather than under-estimate – leaving you with space rather than forcing you to rush around.
5) Don’t put event after event back to back – try leaving some spaces, enabling a walk in the park between meetings.
6) Learn to say ‘no’ to time-sucking friends or events that don’t contribute positively. You know who / what they are!
7) Be brave enough to move people or events if necessary.
Now all that is left is to use these, rather than suffer the abuse of your own poor diarising.