Personal Orbits & Scheduling With Friends

One of the biggest problems I am currently facing is one that surrounds scheduling. Navigating time to meet with friends is a pain in the ass, and usually my ability to foster relationships and collaborate on projects depends on the incidental overlap of time and location with others. I think about orbits constantly. My orbit goes from my home, to my cafe of choice, to work, then back home. I am less likely to meet up with someone if they do not fit in the orbit between these locations. Of course, I can do it, but it’s a huge time suck that oftentimes feels not worth it.

Friends often feel like “friends-of-convenience”. I have a friend named Leesa who I am constantly trying to hang out with, but our schedules have very little overlap and our orbits are remarkably different. The only realistic moment I will see her is in 5 to 10 minute snippets at one of my cafe haunts. Because this is not likely to change, I have to adjust to the constraints of this relationship and allow for it to function within the bounds of sporadic 5 to 10 minute interactions.

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My friend Aaron and I are recording a podcast, and we found a sustainable rhythm of meeting Sunday afternoons. We’ve tried other times (we are pretty good at calendars and scheduling) but it became clear that Sunday afternoons were the optimal choice for meeting up. It was almost a natural groove that we always fell back on, which is more and more the kind of work that I am most attracted to. In my obsession with “emergent systems”, or functions that are born out of natural causes rather than stubbornness and will power, I am often looking for the path of least resistance in some of the more mundane areas of my life. Of course, where it matters, I have to make focused and dramatic change, but at the same time I want to eliminate friction from tasks like scheduling.

The biggest takeaway for me is identifying what works and what doesn’t. It’s funny how the solutions to big problems sound so simple and a little bit dumb when I finally find the answers to them. But, if I see that trying to hang out with Leesa just doesn’t work, I can reorient my thinking to approach the problem in a different way. Aaron and I have something perfect going, so we’re going to stick with that and build as much as we can from the ease of meeting up.

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