You have a schedule?  Aren’t you on vacation?  You are a gringo in Guatemala after all.

As I arrived in Xela, Guatemala, I knew I was going to be the odd one out.  I had a plan after all.  First vacation, then rebuild my life from the ground up.  I sat down in a coffee shop  with a pad of paper and wrote down these words from memory by Annie Dillard:

A schedule defends from chaos and whim.”

Followed by:


Physical – Exercise 4+ times per week

Business – Work for 2 hours a day on income producing ventures

Learning – Study Spanish for 2 hours a day

Social – Go out for at least 3 hours a day to meet local people

Personal – Write in personal blog for 1 hour twice a week, and business blog at least 1 hour per week

Financial – Check finances 1 hour per week

Planning – Plan for tomorrow for 1 hour every day

Eat – 3 square meals per day

Sleep – 8 hours every night

Reward – 1 exciting or interesting trip or experience per week

Interesting, eh?  Then I went into Google Calendar and built a plan around these priorities.  At times it has been hard to stick to the plan, but it has generally been quite rewarding.  I have gotten quite a bit done, and have had time to enjoy the local culture.  One area that caught me off guard was the local custom of setting off firecrackers at 6:30 am to wake up their loved ones who are celebrating a birthday. In a city this size that is every day.  Naturally this is followed up by loud music for a couple hours, ensuring that no one around can possibly get back to sleep.  It has taken a while, but I have adjusted my schedule for earlier nights and earlier mornings because of this.

An upside about spending an hour every day planning for tomorrow means that I get more done in the day or hours provided and that the quality of that work is superior.  The Pareto Principle and Parkinson’s Law working so well together 🙂

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