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.”
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 🙂