TBT In Real Life: Gillian Goddard

One of my discoveries from studying thousands of schedules is that even the busiest people have some leisure time. The problem is that much of it is short or uncertain in duration. Longer patches tend to occur at low energy times, such as after the kids have gone to bed.

Screen time fits these constraints incredibly well. You can spend 2 minutes or 2 hours on Twitter. You don’t need to plan ahead to enjoy Netflix. Consequently, such “effortless” fun tends to fill the bulk of people’s leisure time.

And there’s nothing wrong with that on its own. Effortless fun is fun! The problem is that because such fun is so effortless, it tends to crowd out other leisure activities such as reading, hobbies, or connecting with friends — all things people claim they’d love to find time for.

The solution is Tranquility by Tuesday Rule 9: Effortful before effortless. Aim to do at least a few minutes of more active fun before switching to screens. I believe that doing so can completely change the balance of your leisure time and make it feel more rejuvenating….but you don’t just need to take my word for it!

Gillian Goddard, a physician and mother of four, lives in a suburb outside New York City. In this week’s Tranquility by Tuesday In Real Life video, she talks about how learning Rule #9 changed her life. She began reading more seriously, and doing puzzles with her family. She also chose to make the effortless fun of screens a little more effortful by making various apps less accessible. A smart move!

As you can see in the video, she and I enjoyed a little effortful fun together of taking a walk to her local library. As Gillian has been a commenter on this blog for several years (and a guest on Best of Both Worlds!) it was so fun to get to see her home and her life.

Please check out the fourth installment of my TBT In Real Life video series to see how Rule #9 helped Gillian enjoy her limited leisure time more. If you enjoy the video, please share it around! I’d love to give it a wide audience.

In case you missed them, here are the previous three videos:

Elisa Ung on Rule #7: Take one night for you
Rachana Shah on Rule #6: One big adventure, one little adventure
Rachel Scarpato on Rule #2: Plan on Fridays

I hope you enjoy them all! If you haven’t picked up a copy of Tranquility by Tuesday yet, you can find links to online retailers on this page.

5 thoughts on “TBT In Real Life: Gillian Goddard

  1. @Laura it was so fun to meet you in person after all these years. It was also a big step up from the first time logs I sent you in 2016 which prominently featured the entry “Lice combing” in MANY spreadsheet cells.

    1. @Gillian – it was so great to get to know you too! And oh my goodness, that lice time log. That was one that stood out!

  2. I need to dive deeper into this (and pick up your book – I requested it to be added to the library too!) because you put into words what I often feel during the week: I have little pockets of free time in the evening, but instead of doing something that leaves me happy and satisfied, I catch up on social media (where I constantly feel “behind”) and let that, in retrospect, ruin my evening. Why do we do this to ourselves?

    1. Same – I have a fair amount of free time in the evenings right now but inertia really leads me to scroll scroll on Instagram or play candy crush. I’m trying to really think about this as I’m pregnant with my first child and I know that the amount of free time I have know is going to be reduced drastically pretty soon but I also want to enjoy my life.

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