why i schedule six weeks in advance (part 2): becoming allergic to frenzy22 Jun 2016
last year or the year before, at our end of the year staff party, my colleague, curtis, shared that he was going to start avoiding frenzy. he had been running himself pretty ragged and was tired of being tired. he was tired of himself (and others) using ‘busy as a status symbol.’ his words resonated with me because i often felt the same way.
and with my intention set so clearly on matching my time with my values [see part 1], i had a clear place to strategize. so i started to look in my life for what made me feel frenzied and started to build ways to make myself allergic to it.
i started watching my energy levels over the course of a few weeks. one key thing i found was that hanging out with multiple people a day really drained my energy. why?
- i hate small talk with a passion. i would rather be silent and just share someone’s physical company than to talk and think about meaningless things.
- when i meet up with a friend, i want the time to be directed towards maintaining or deepening that meaningful relationship. doing that actually takes quite a bit of mental and emotional energy. so doing it multiple times a day is quite resource intensive.
so i decided to strive to meet up with only one person per day. on my calendar, this is implemented via a weekly cap.yes, i have a numerical maximum on the number of friends i will see in a single week. of course, there are exceptions and the number can change (a little) based on what else is going on that week, but i try to keep to it pretty firmly.
having followed this strategy for about a year now, i’ve found the following:
- based on the number of people i know, the frequency at which i run into them around town, and the time i allot in my schedule to see friends, this books my schedule out about six weeks on average.
- seeing one friend (or small group of friends) per day not only allows me to show up more fully for when i DO see someone.
- at the end of each day and week, my overall exhausting levels have gone down drastically compared to previous phases of my life.
- running this type of schedule seems like it is also based on living on boston. other cities with different types of social gravity work differently. this sort of thing would never work in gainesville or new york.
- a great side-benefit of a drastic cut in my spending on alcohol, food, and snacks. so often we use consumption as a way to facilitate communion, but that needn’t be. i’m actively trying to get away from that in as many ways as possible, but it still happens, ya know?
anyways, that’s all i got. being allergic to the frenzy feels like a really good thing. at least for me for now.
ps - in all of this, having a more fully developed practice of saying no has been amazingly helpful. definitely necessary.