Today (I’m writing this Monday night, 2/22/21) I scheduled nearly my entire day and night. While I pushed through my work day and the different things I had scheduled, I began thinking how there wasn’t much freedom in the evening that was about to ensue. Everything was scheduled. I had a to-do list. Indeed, I’m currently in the hour section I had blocked off to write my blog for the day.
As my thoughts drifted around today, I thought of the catch. If I had not scheduled everything tonight (down to the half hour blocked off for “dinner”), I would not be getting near the amount accomplished. I would have deprived myself of the freedom of that sense of accomplishment. Jocko Willink’s book Discipline Equals Freedom came to mind, in which he argues that by having a structured and scheduled life, you introduce more freedom into your life.
But again, how are we really free when locked behind such a structure?
By the end of the night tonight, I will have had half hour blocks of yoga style stretching (for my recovering quad), learning French, learning how to play “Friends in Low Places” on the guitar, and reading. I will have had one hour blocks for writing this blog and for doing some house chores which include hanging lots of frames as we’re still in the process of moving in.
Not all of these actions took the time allotted. Some took a little more. In the end, there was more time to play around with. So, I was able to benefit both from the freedom that is within the structure and the freedom of that unstructured time left over.
Want a little more freedom in your life? Insert some more structure and schedule your entire day.
One thought on “Catch 22 of Freedom”
A total Catch-22. I’ve experimented with both leaving evenings and weekends unscheduled and simply scheduling long blocks of time to do whatever I want—essentially “exempting” a given time period from my usual personal rules about scheduling.