This blog entry might come as a big surprise for people that know me well. I am famous for my planning and organising skills, so much so that a friend of mine once wrote a hip-hop song about me and my planning skills.
Despite this, I would like to share about the beauty of not having a plan. I am off work for a few days and many people asked what my plans were. When I responded that I don’t have any, besides waking up without an alarm clock, many were surprised. And it is even a surprise to me. In the lead up to this time off a little voice in my head was telling me “You have five days off work and you are not doing anything; you are not going away or planning any activities. You are not using your time off efficiently.”
Modern life demands us not only to be constantly up to date with what is happening but also to be always busy. Not having a plan is a luxury. We have our ‘to do lists’ that can fill our days up with errands and the social pressure demands from us to be able to tell people about and share on social media all the things we are going to do and have been doing. Not having to do anything is for free and yet, I think, one of the most luxurious and precious things to have – actual FREE time. Another important fact is that society seems to promote that we have to maximise our time and fill our schedules to make sure we experience life to the fullest. Yet, are we not most satisfied after an unplanned, spontaneous nights out or an extended unplanned coffee date with a friend?
Time without plans doesn’t mean to sit at home and do nothing, but to rather do things that you feel like doing in this moment – even if it means to just sit on the couch and do nothing. It allows for spontaneity and living in the moment, silencing the little voice ‘I still have to do XYZ…’ for a few hours.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not promoting a society where no one commits; to wait until the last minute to confirm/decline an invitation to see if something better comes up etc. That would be the other extreme. I still have a fairly organised life and ‘plan’ my time. However, I started to factor time in without any plans. I know it is a little more challenging when you have kids, but I am convinced children feed of the relaxation and enjoyment of their parents. Not always having an entertainment programme lined up also teaches the kids an important lesson about being in the moment and focusing on what you are doing.
So what are you doing next Saturday? – I hope your answer will be ‘I have no plans’.