One of two things is true: either you will experience chaos in life, or you are setting your sights drastically too low. With even medium-sized goals, you're going to occasionally run into a time where you've underestimated a project, or someone has slacked and pushed work onto your plate, or a great opportunity arose and you had to scramble to try to take advantage. If this happens to you constantly you're probably doing something wrong, but the same is true if it never happens.
What you'd really want in these cases is to be able to bank time. You save up money partially so that if your car breaks down you don't have to pay for it all out of your next paycheck. If only you could do the same with time, storing up spare minutes here and there for when things really get chaotic.
You actually can do that, though, it just doesn't happen at Wells Fargo. In fact, I'm doing it now.
I'm on a flight from Tokyo to Melbourne right now. Nine hours, and most people are using the time watching movies or playing games on their phone. And most of them are probably on vacation from work anyway, so it makes sense.
But I'm about to go on a cruise where I'll be focused on getting a ton of work done. Internet access will range from non-existent to intermittent, and won't overlap with when I want to post things. The distance from land and "ship time" time zone make it inconvenient to keep track of when things should be written and posted. In the past I've realized all of a sudden that it's Friday morning in the US and I need to get a post ready immediately.
So on this flight I looked at a calendar and saw that I need to get four posts written, edited, and queued. That's probably two hours of somewhat mentally taxing work, but I can easily get the writing done on this flight. And then when the chaos of the cruise comes along, I don't have to think about it.
I'm not always the best at this, as you may guess if you're a regular reader and you see that my posts sometimes slip until Friday night or Saturday morning. So it's a work in progress for me, as it may be for you as well.
It's just another angle from which to look at time: what can I do now that will make my life easier in the future? I know that in this moment I have the time and space to do work that has to get done at some point anyway-- may as well take advantage rather than count on good logistics in the future. Get tons done now when it's calm. That's how you weather a storm.
If you're in Sydney, I will be at the Rabbit Hole Tea House today (Friday April 22) at 2pm. My good friend Leo Babauta will also be there, as will at least a couple readers. Come down and hang out for an hour or so!
Photo is from the Victoria National Gallery in Melbourne. I was so pumped that they had a Hokusai Great Wave woodblock that I woke up early, waited in line to get in, and took an expensive Uber to the airport... only to find that it's not on display! Crazy, because it's one of the pillars of their collection. The rest of the museum was okay but not spectacular, although the special Ai Wei Wei exhibit was great.
The photo is a glittery modern piece from their collection.
I went on my first cruise ten years ago. All I really knew about them at the time was that they were the most interesting things pictured on the back of cornflakes boxes, and that a girl I had a crush on found one for $199. Sold.
Since then I've been on ten cruises or so, half of them two week transatlantic runs, which are by far my favorites. Later on I'll write more about why I love these cruises, but the gist is that they're the Perfect Work Environment.
In the decade that I've been cruising, my technique for finding good deals has evolved beyond crushing on girls who might find a good deal. The best trick in the book used to be a site called Cruise Hot Sheet. At any given time it had a listing of most of the cheapest cruises available.
Then two weeks ago it became empty. No deals. I already have a cruise booked for November, so I'm not really in the market, but I like to keep an eye on prices out of curiosity. Every time I went to Cruise Hot Sheet, only to be greeted with an empty page, I was annoyed.
I love San Francisco so much that every time I return here from a trip, I resolve to stay for a while and enjoy the city. That never happens. Next week I'm going to Tahoe, then Vegas the following weekend, and then to Austin for SXSW the week after that. Cabo or Hawaii follows in early March, but in late April comes the most exciting upcoming trip: a sixteen day cruise to Rome.
Cruises are full of old people. As best I can tell, that's because young people haven't figured out how awesome and cheap they can be. In fact, I can easily say that of all the travel I've done, cruises probably represent the best bang for the buck.
Before I tell you how to get them cheap, let me tell you why cruises, especially long duration one-way cruises are amazing.
One of my favorite aspects of cruises is that they can take you to places you may not otherwise visit. For example, the cruise my friends and I are taking stops in the Azores, Seville (Spain), Valencia (Spain), Barcelona, Monte Carlo, and Rome. Without cruising, I probably would never make it to the Azores, and those southern Spanish cities are unlikely as well. They're just too remote and too expensive to come up at the top of my list when choosing a trip.