What drives us to overburden ourselves? According to researchers, we, the overcommitters, operate under the misconception that we will have more time tomorrow than we do today. However, this mythical tomorrow full of free time never arrives, so we scramble to meet the promises and commitments we made. I knew I had a problem today when an old friend cancelled on our plans tonight, and part of me was relieved. In my effort to make the most of my time, I left myself no time.
The night before I was in a professional development class to become a better reading instructor. Today, I had my spring teaching load, my writing center duties, and popped into a podcasting class to steal some learning. How does one steal learning you ask? Well, when you are so overcommitted you cannot attend a whole class, you ask the instructor to let you sit in on half the class. I try to contribute knowledge during discussions, but really I am just a freeloader in the backrow doing some live Tweeting. This is all before school lets out and I begin my other full-time job as a parent.
So when my friend cancelled, I decided to stay in and enjoy a little reprieve from the pinball machine action that keeps me popping through the shoot. Okay, not really. I’m just moving from one machine to another—external commitments to internal commitments. Exhibit A: Blog post. The productivity machine is hungry, so I feed it.
My goal for the magical day known as tomorrow, where anything is possible and time is limitless, is to budget some downtime with a glass of wine on the back porch and invest in the art of doing nothing. Of course, to do this, I will probably have to research various philosophical theories on ” doing nothing,” take notes while sitting on the porch, perhaps live Tweet descriptions of the sounds I hear, and then go in the house and write about the experience.