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  • Writer's pictureGourav S

The Unscheduled Life

If I have to choose just one resolution for 2024, there can be no other term that can describe my aspirational life as precisely as "The Unscheduled Life". I owe it to Naval Ravikant for putting this so succinctly and aptly here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60c3wK6RnA0




Highlights:


1️⃣ Say no to everything and don't have a calendar.


2️⃣ Mottos are "better bored than busy" and "the overscheduled life isn't worth living"


3️⃣ The world is full of opportunity; you just need to be available with time and mental space to grab it.


4️⃣ It's about as hard as it sounds, but it's about ten times more rewarding than it sounds.


5️⃣ When you look back on your life, you'll wish you spent more time on the timeless and less on the temporary, as there are very few timeless things.

The Full Version


Start by saying no to everything. I say no to everything. I don't have a calendar.
When people say, how about such and such time? I say, “hmm, well, I would have to either set an alarm for it or I would have to remember it.”
That way, unless I really, really badly want to do it, I just can't even do it. The maximum number of meetings I can have per day is one, because that's all I can remember or all I'm going to set an alarm for.
Second, I push everything asynchronous and unscheduled.
My mottos are, “better bored than busy,” and “the overscheduled life isn't worth living.”
The world is full of opportunity. You just have to be available and have time and mental space to grab it.
And when you grab it, you're going to be sorry you grabbed it because now there's a thousand other things you can't grab.
So you only want to grab the ones that really, really, really appeal to you. It has to bring you out of retirement, essentially.
But you do need something to focus on because if you don't, what are you going to do all day? You'll just drink yourself to death or do stupid things.
It does mean that you have to unschedule your entire life around you. I see many parents whose children's lives are scheduled and then they try to live an unscheduled life. It doesn't work.
If your children have school times, nap times, play times, times when they have to eat, times when they have to go to bed, then your own life will be scheduled as well. Nothing wrong with that. Most of us don't have the luxury of being unscheduled, but if you do, your entire life around you has to be unscheduled.
It also means every single event is voluntary. You never commit to showing up and speaking at an event. You never commit to a birthday party. You never commit to a wedding. You never commit to a bar mitzvah. It means you never commit, you never let your wife commit you to anything. You never commit her to anything.
If somebody asks, is he available for X? She doesn't even ask on their behalf. If somebody asks me, is she available for X? I don't even ask her on their behalf. So, completely free and unscheduled. It's about as hard as it sounds, but it's about ten times more rewarding than it sounds.
It means you have to break the heart of every person who expects you to be in a specific place at a specific time. That's their expectation. It's their problem, not yours.
You have to get comfortable ghosting people who become too familiar. They text you too much. They Airchat you too much. They email you too much. Just stop responding. The monkey on their back that they're trying to put on yours is not your problem. You just have to be comfortable walking away with no remorse.
When you look back on your life in that final moment, you will wish that you'd spent more time on the timeless and less time on the temporary and there are very, very few timeless things.

As quoted above, it is about as hard as it sounds and in contrary to conventional wisdom! Next Reminder: Unscheduled for Dec 31, 2024 Gourav Sharma gs@gouravs.com Disclaimer: The views expressed are personal and do not represent the official stance of the Indian government or any of its agencies



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