A question to ask yourself before you accept any invitation

Kevin Kelly told me about this trick a couple of years ago and it has helped me tremendously: "Anytime anyone invites you to do anything, ask yourself this question before you accept: Would I do it tomorrow?"

David Plotz of Slate has more on the power of this magic question.

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  1. Okay. It may be because I'm tired and grumpy, but that has got to be one of the most inane pieces of advice I've ever read. Jesus wept. I can think of a hundred different events I generally would like to attend, but not if they would suddenly be tomorrow. That "advice" pretty much prohibits everything that would take the tiniest bit of preparation to achieve. I would love to perform in a musical or visit Antarctica or even just attend a friends wedding or an awards ceremony or my own graduation, but if you sprung any of those on me tomorrow I would not be happy. All of those require planning and preparation, and I bloody well wouldn't want to attend any of those without the chance to do just that. Hey, come defend your thesis tomorrow! NO. If a person is so tractable and easily led astray that they cannot say "no" to invitations and apparently doesn't have the perseverance to actually prepare for those occasions they have agreed to, they might try growing a goddamn spine instead. Aaarggh.

  2. LOL, because the question I usually ask myself is, "Well, do I want to or not?" And if I don't, I don't. And if I do, I do.

  3. Tomorrow is already full with all the things I should have done today.

  4. Judging from the sharp downhill turn the comments took, It seems like the time savings mostly comes from the people you recommend this advice to getting so angry at you that they retract all their invitations to you, and you get to go home and do what you wanted in the first place...

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