JIT Living: Making time to do things now

It seems like most of the time, we should be doing something else. We always have plans already.

If someone wants to grab lunch with you, you probably have to set a date a couple days, even weeks, from now. If your kid wants to play a game, you have to put it off until tomorrow evening.

Now is rarely available because we’ve already planned for it.

Aren’t we losing missing something as a result? Aren’t we missing a lot of life because we can’t ride what comes each moment? We have to put it off, maybe for good. Isn’t that a problem?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about Just-In-Time Living, living life unplanned.

Toyota, I think, developed the concept of Just-In-Time (JIT) production. Instead of producing a bunch of stuff ahead of time and then having to store a ton of inventory, Toyota switched to producing products “just in time,” only when the demand was already pulling the product through the line.

This helped Toyota reduce the cost of storing extra inventory, but in the process it also made Toyota more flexible and efficient. I like that, so I like swiping the analogy for life too.

Instead of creating an inventory of plans, things we think we’ll want, why not just go with what we get?

I mean, I think general directions are good. A focus to want to do something, that makes sense. But planning out all the details doesn’t. We don’t know all the details until they hit us. If we try to plan for all the details, we miss shortcuts, shortcuts that we’ll only notice as we gather more information along the way.

Of course, the opposite extreme isn’t what I’m talking about either, the extreme where you don’t do anything. I’m not saying that. I’m saying that we still enjoy a fast paced, thriving lifestyle – we just don’t plan it so much ahead of time.

It’s an interesting problem really, where plans can get in the way of living.