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.
[5:08] Young Laura and Tom at their best
[8:37] The origin of ‘busy’ as a virtue
[14:18] The tension between working hard and enjoying life
[17:39] Laura’s time tracking experiment
[23:21] The idea of working less as being ‘irresponsible’
[28:29] How adventure stretches time
[35:11] Tom’s insight on Idle Parenting
[42:29] Laura’s insight around planning leisure time
[45:28] Tom’s take on eudaimonia in business
[49:56] Laura’s take on trying to do everything
[52:43] What Tom is pursuing in the next year
[55:28] What Laura is pursuing in the next year
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
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