Friday, March 31, 2006

Small, manageable chunks

If you've seen the movie About a Boy, with Hugh Grant, you'll remember him speaking of managing one's time. Break it up into units of no more than 30 minutes, fill up those units one at a time, and you'll get by.

Unfortunately I haven't achieved the prerequisites of the protagonist's lifestyle quite yet, but the principle is solid. Everyday life is boring, or at least mine is; I've gone to a lot of effort to get to a point where I'm not constantly stressed, where I can make a living out of something that comes naturally to me, where I'm not anxious about what tomorrow might bring.

The problem with such a setup is that increasingly often, you find yourself bored out of your skull. There's only so much websurfing one can do; hobbies are of no interest, at least ones I can afford; freelance work doesn't come along that often.

The solution is to find joy in things to come. You can't make your life exciting all the time (and maintain the state of comfort which I'm not prepared to give up). What you can do is plan events, and revel in the the anticipation. I've found travel to be a good choice of event, but then I love travel in itself - possibly more than the destination; I've enjoyed visiting lots of places where I wouldn't want to live. Major purchases are another such event. Hell, an upcoming job review will do, if you're expecting a raise.

You can't space these out too thinly though - you won't get much use out of something that's more than two, maybe three weeks away. So you need to learn to recognize such events, or invent them.

Just a small tip to make your life subtly better.

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