Following up from Ege’s piece last week, I wanted to write about how we make use of our free time. Our beloved Cal Newport talks about Arnold Bennett’s How To Live on 24 Hours a Day, which was written in 1910, in his book Deep Work. Bennett draws the reader’s attention to the fact that those who have 9-to-6 jobs actually have 16 hours of the day to themselves. He adds that one of our biggest failings is limiting the concept of “day” to working hours. We end up missing the fact that a day is made of 24 hours. Which brings us to how people spend the remaining hours of their days. Bennet made his recommendations a century ago, at a time when binge watching tv shows wasn’t an option. To him, even though feeding the mind and the soul was mostly related to reading, the point was for people to find ways to enrich themselves each day. Instead of spending our free time with things that just grab our attention, we should think about how we want to use “the day within our day”.
We might be tired when we get home from work but if we choose to think that an enriching activity requires too much energy and we prefer to just relax, we risk getting into a space where we just exist but not really live. It is entirely possible to create a balance between our lazy and enriching activities. I hope you think about this before pressing play tonight.
I’d like to end this with one of my favorite paragraphs from Ege:
“Adam Robinson states that, “the more you’re connected to your heart’s true desires, the less you will tolerate the things trying to capture your attention.” Because the only content that truly catches our interest, entertains, shocks, inspires, instructs, and makes us think, can only be produced this way; when we focus on that internal, sheltered, and creative flow, completely undeterred by digressive external forces.”