62 minutes | Oct 23, 2018

S2 EP3: Making Time to Savor Life, Family, & Business — with Laura Vanderkam & Tom Hodgkinson

We live in a culture of busy, wearing our overwork like a badge of honor. We complain that there aren’t enough hours in the day—and blame our jobs and our kids for the fact that we can’t enjoy life. We even feel guilty when we make time for fun. Busy is a virtue. Idleness is irresponsible. But what if we have a greater responsibility to be our best selves for the people around us? Is it true that we don’t have time to pursue activities that bring us joy? Or is that simply the story we’re telling ourselves? What if we could design our days, our families and our businesses for more off-time, delight and openness to surprise? Today, Jeffrey challenges our culture of busy with Laura Vanderkam, author of Off the Clock and cohost of the Best of Both Worlds podcast, and Tom Hodgkinson, editor of The Idler magazine and author of Business for Bohemians. Tom and Laura discuss the origin of ‘busy’ as a virtue, the idea of working less as ‘irresponsible’ and the tension between our desires to work hard AND enjoy life. Laura shares the results of her time tracking experiment, explaining how adventure stretches time, and Tom describes his Idle Parenting philosophy, discussing the benefits of ignoring your kids once in a while. Listen in for insight around planning for leisure time—even in the midst of raising small children—and learn how to create a business vision that expresses the essence of who you are. Key Takeaways [5:08] Young Laura and Tom at their best Laura creating stories and poems Tom editing magazines, organizing events [8:37] The origin of ‘busy’ as a virtue 18th century Dr. Johnson lazy but productive Idleness important part of creative process Guilt around pleasure, idleness w/ Reformation [14:18] The tension between working hard and enjoying life Value to open space for thinking, new ideas Not either/or (ideal to find enjoyable work) Time diaries show much leisure time [17:39] Laura’s time tracking experiment Leads to savored life, freedom ‘Time starts to feel more full’ [23:21] The idea of working less as being ‘irresponsible’ Regrets around not spending time with children More responsible to take care of mental health [28:29] How adventure stretches time Lunch break to explore city (active downtime) Perception of time shaped by memories [35:11] Tom’s insight on Idle Parenting Ignoring kids leads to independence, self-sufficiency Helicopter parenting steals freedom from both Value in day of abandoning routines and rhythms [42:29] Laura’s insight around planning leisure time Parents of small children must arrange open time More mindful of time, intentional [45:28] Tom’s take on eudaimonia in business Not about money or status but fulfillment Task of life to build work that expresses spirit [49:56] Laura’s take on trying to do everything Do more of what you’re best at Business grows when NOT trying to do it all alone [52:43] What Tom is pursuing in the next year Find/retain subscribers, grow team Write book on meditation [55:28] What Laura is pursuing in the next year Time management novella (March 2019) Shift to writing fiction Connect with Laura Laura Vanderkam Connect with Tom The Idler Resources The Idler Subscription Mary Oliver’s ‘The Summer Day’ What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings—and Life by Laura Vanderkam Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam The Idle Parent: Why Laid-Back Parents Raise Happier and Healthier Kids by Tom Hodgkinson Idler Academy Business for Bohemians: Live Well, Make Money by Tom Hodgkinson ‘The Busy Person’s Lies’ in The New York Times How to Be Idle: A Loafer’s Manifesto by Tom Hodgkinson Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang 168 Hours Time Tracking Challenge Laura’s 168 Hours Time Tracking Template Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Juliet’s School of Possibilities: A Little Story About the Power of Priorities by Laura Vanderkam The Sacred Healing Well Gentle Warrior’s Wellness MASS MoCA Julianne Swartz
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