What's a Big Day?

To knock off anything ambitious you generally need two things: unbroken time and sustained focus. But nobody has the first, and we’ve lost the muscle for the second. The solution – one solution, my solution – is Big Days. I’m suggesting you carve out one 24-hour block of time per month and devote it to a single task. When you clock back into your life the next day you’ll have put something significant in the books – be it soul work or work work. And no one will even know you’ve been gone.

One Big Days

One Big Day Journal

Problem, solution

“What is the problem to which this is the solution? That’s one of my favorite questions – and has been ever since I heard Neil Postman ask it. He was buying a new car that came with power windows. He said, “No thank you, regular windows are fine: they’re less expensive and less likely to…

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Of Makers and Managers

I’d always thought Big Days were especially apt for writers, musicians, artists – creatives. Because they’re the ones most vulnerable to interruptions from the Man from Porlock, right? Paul Graham set me straight. He isn’t an artist. He’s a British computer programmer, venture capitalist and start-up guru — but a programmer first and foremost. Programmers…

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What will you do with your one wild and precious day?

Photograph by David Niddrie “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” So wrote the poet Mary Oliver. In that spirit, I ask people, “What would you do with your one wild and precious day?” — your Big Day? A lot of people have trouble coming up…

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To do well or to do good?

“What are you raising money for?” Two people asked that question after hearing about the all-day bike ride. I get where they’re coming from: it’s a cultural reflex. From walkathons to telethons to hackathons, we now understand that any quirky, marathon-like undertaking must be raising money for something. Otherwise why do it? It’s kind of…

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A day to remember

Photograph by David Niddrie “This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.”  — Maya Angelou There’s a certain kind of person who, should he accidentally wander into the self-development section of a bookstore, will recoil like a terrier jolted by the forcefield of a buried electric fence. This guy’s with Seinfeld in…

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