Maybe it’s time you got some JOMO

Updated to Life on January 21, 2021.

I want to do less…better.

It’s not that I want to opt-out, move to the country or build a log cabin. 

In fact, when I’m home, I like my creature comforts and good WIFI.

I just don’t like feeling busy. 

All the time. 

It shows up in the spaces…

You know, those minutes waiting for the dentist, standing in line at the bank, or when procrastinating before starting some job you’ve been putting off all week.

Those spaces.

It takes a conscious effort to leave those spaces open—to not fill them with swiping, clicking and scrolling.

Sometimes, it even feels scary…

what will I miss?

I mean, what if someone I hardly know goes on the cruise of a lifetime, or their second daughter graduates from college and I miss the Facebook update?

That would be horrible.

I’m kidding, of course. 

It would be bliss.

An experiment

I’m writing this in Cape town at the tail-end of a full month of adventure, climbing, rafting, hiking and on safari in Southern Africa with my two daughters.

I chose to be offline for most of the month. Often, I was offline because I didn’t have a choice (WIFI on Zanzibar is a new concept), mostly because I wanted to.

Here’s what I’ve learned: 

I didn’t miss anything.

Here’s what else I learned: I had a full month to enjoy life, traveling with family and being in the moment. I loved it.

There’s a name for this…

it’s called the JOMO – Joy Of Missing Out.

I recommend it.

JOMO in action

What would you do for a full day with no plans? Even a half-day. Even one hour?

Imagine being free of what Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig calls “The anxious clamoring and need. The restless hungry thing to feed.”

Would you immediately find something to do? Or could you sit, or write, or think, or meditate, or anything but get busy?

I wonder if you could.

I’m not down on being busy. In some ways, my freedom was earned from many years of being busy. At the same time, I suspect if I had learned how to be still and think, I would have everything I need and want but at less cost.

No points for busy

“No points for busy.” wrote serial blogger Seth Godin, “Points for prioritization. Points for efficiency and productivity. Points for doing what matters.”

I want to create. I like building wealth and legacy. I enjoy building scary goals and then pounding them to the ground.

What’s changed is that I’ve lost my appetite for busy, and my JOMO has increased.

Maybe I’m more conscious of the years going by, or I’m getting (a little) smarter. Either way, I want points for doing what matters.

Enjoyed my ramblings from Africa? Here are 3 more posts all about life, plans and getting smart about life. Enjoy!

Make your bed and 12 more great habits for the super busy
How to live like a millionaire with zero-based living.
Hyperbolic discounting and why your goals suck.