Cafe Witness

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Value of Doing Nothing

We wrapped up our fourth season of Something to Be Desired this week, and suddenly, I'm faced with the situation I've dreamed of for weeks:

I have nothing to do.

And it's simultaneously rapturous and alarming.

Semantics, Baby

Of course, I don't have nothing to do. I've been juggling several freelance projects, with a few more on tap. I have an upcoming PodCamp Pittsburgh 2 to plan for. I have numerous financial situations to improve, rectify and otherwise attend to.

But, for all intents and purposes, the primary focus of my life for the past year is over -- temporarily, at least.

Now I have the complete freedom to organize my days any way I see fit. I can compartmentalize my workflow differently. I can go out in the evening, spend time with family and friends, and remind myself I have a girlfriend again.

I can read.

The Downside to Freedom

Like most people, I tend to get a lot of great ideas at precisely the wrong time to work on them.

I'll be staring down a hard deadline for one project and suddenly see the answer to a problem in another project that I'd completely forgotten about -- but I don't have time to implement it.

I'll be Googling for information about one project and invariably find something I know I can use in another capacity -- but I don't have time to explore it.

Now all I have is time.

Of course, the cynics among you have seen this point coming: with no excuses, I now suddenly have no recourse but to follow through on all these other grand ideas.

Will my subconscious mind, which tends to generate far more material than I ever seem to be able to act upon, be as fertile when I now actually HAVE the capacity to take action? Or will I suffer from psychosomatic stage fright? Time will tell. And time is something I have plenty of...

What about you? Do you find a wealth of free time to be a blessing or a curse? How do you maximize your freedom?

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5 Comments:

  • Justin- this is when having an ongoing notebook for ideas comes in handy, and friend-sourcing ideas. We all can;t follow through on every brain wave we get, but we can crowd-source the problem or solution- I think that's always the way to go.

    Whit

    By Blogger wsh1266, at 3:50 PM  

  • Well for me life either happens all at once or not at all. So I can feel your situation. I suggest you enjoy your freetime.

    By Blogger Norm, at 11:16 PM  

  • Same kind of area there. I had two months have possibly doing nothing but freelance and my day job, now I find myself with 5 weeks straight of no freelance, due to a project deadline getting moved, and can't struggle to do all the things I wanted to for one reason or another.

    I like the notebook idea "wsh" had. I have a running "to do" list and notepad on my Google home page for when I come up with ideas at work, I have it in a place I can find later at home on my laptop.

    My worse offense is coming up with lyrics while driving somewhere. Never remember it whenever I get to my destination.

    By Blogger sirpsychosexy, at 9:09 PM  

  • You have to follow through on ideas, eh Justin?

    I remember one such idea happening through the course of liquids at Bar Louie.

    Something about funerals ....

    I can't wait for the pilot ;)

    By Blogger Tommy, at 9:28 AM  

  • My productivity skyrockets when I have tons of things to do and no time to do it... I've suddenly created all sorts of projects for myself over the next three weeks and I'm somehow getting them all done. And on June 24, I'll have nothing to do... and that'll be kind of sad.

    Oh well, there's always a sequel to write...

    By Blogger righteoustetris, at 8:02 AM  

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