On Living Wisely: How Do You Spend Your Time?

You told me to take the chance and learn the ways of love.”DeBarge, All This Love

What does it mean to live a good life? What about a productive life? How about a happy life? How might I think about these ideas if the answers conflict with one another?Richard J. Light, How to Live Wisely (New York Times)

I’ve come back to this article a few times since dropping it in my Pocket in early August and while these questions are rarely far from top of mind for me, they’ve taken on greater urgency since leaving Portland after XOXO. There, the question is, perhaps, more specific-What does it mean to make good things?—but as Amit Gupta’s talk conveyed, these questions may, ultimately, be one in the same.

The first exercise referenced in Richard J. Light’s essay is:

Make a list of how you want to spend your time. What matters to you? Then make a list of how you actually spent your time, on average, each day over the past week and match the two lists.

Stream of Consciousness Answer:

I want to make good shit every day. I want to spend time coming up with creative ideas and then executing on them. I want to talk about what’s good and why. I want to spend time figuring out why certain things get seen, read, watched and others don’t. I want to work on big ideas. I want to delight and surprise. I want to be clever. I want to waste less time. I want to read more for pleasure. I want to Tumblr. I want to help more people more often. I want to workout. I want to spend time with those I love.

How do I normally spend my time?

  • I dilly-dally on the internet in the mornings.
  • I spend two hours of the day commuting usually listening to podcasts and dilly-dallying on the internet.
  • I spend a lot of time looking at why things are or aren’t working.
  • I spend a lot of time in or preparing for meetings answering other people’s questions
  • I watch a lot of TV.
  • I workout.
  • I twitter.
  • I…

I don’t know. Well, what I do know is I don’t spend enough time being creative and making stuff. I don’t spend enough time talking about what’s good or working on big ideas. I don’t give enough of my time to others in need. At least that’s how it feels.

I want a more accurate view of this, though. This week I’m going to SnapChat my days and document what the hell I’m actually doing.

You can follow me there if you don’t already. And bug me if my story seems a little thin. I haven’t done much SnapChat making so I tend to forget and/or get shy.

Does your every day look like how you envision? 

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