An almost empty restaurant down at the Marina on a Tuesday night.
Would you be tempted to walk in and sit down to eat and drink, or prefer to wait until it looks a bit busier on say, a Friday or Saturday night at 7.30pm?
The problem with living on-peak is that things like having to be in your car for the 5pm commute, sitting and waiting in the corner for a table in a trendy Saturday restaurant, shopping on a weekend, or queuing for the bank on a Monday morning, even joining the line for a new release at the cinema, is that it can cost you a serious amount of time.
Time that when you hit 40 (ish), people forever tell me seems to go even faster.
Even going to the gym on peak, first of all you have to pay more for it, but to go immediately after work or between those golden hours of 6-8pm when everyone else is there and you must limit your use of the treadmill to 20 minutes at a time can mean it can take longer than you had hoped for your daily endorphin rush to be delivered.
And the worst is yet to come.
This on-peak time famine will really grip when you’re going to be hussled and bustled in restaurants with every other worker enjoying their Christmas party night out too, or forced into heading out into your car for another mad, crazy dash drive to the nearest shopping center and even queuing in the dead of the night to stock up on an amount of food that you’ll likely not eat in two weeks, never mind in just the two days that the shops are actually shut.
Living off-peak is a simple way to liberate your lifestyle and avoid the time famine that so many people suffer from. Add up all of the wasted time in your life spent queuing, and then think about what might life feel like, even look like, had you chosen to use that time to exercise or spend just that few extra minutes you didn’t think you had preparing a healthy meal, rather than choose a drive through because you were on the go fast food option.
And one of the reasons I forever champion being active in the outdoors is because it lets you control when, how and where. Aside from climbing on a bike, perhaps putting on a pair of wellingtons, runners or hiking boots, and getting the legs going slowly but surely, very little time is ever lost in pursuit of what it is you set out to achieve.
There’s no queue for a walk round Summerhill or a bike ride along the sea front after work and definitely no sign telling you when you’ll have to get off.
Back to that Tuesday night empty restaurant. One way to look at an empty restaurant is that you’ll have the whole place to your self, you’ll have every member of staff in there waiting on you hand and foot, and the food will be exactly the same as it is any other night.
And watch how slower life is when there’s no one rushing in and out every two minutes.
Just takes a bit of lifestyle ‘re-engineering’ to achieve it and free up some valuable spare time to get more living and activity out of every day.