This is what happens when your friends take over your calendar for a week
Summer 2017. Finally back home in Berlin. Resting, need a break. I had spent the years before working in the tech world. San Francisco. Paris. Always a little busy and not nearly as much time spent with my friends as I’d like.
I travelled through Asia, to cuddle some baby Orang Utans, and realized how I had missed catching up with friends, the ones closest to me, new ones, old ones. I wanted to to have some time solely dedicated to them. And to new experiences.
It was then I decided to open up my calendar to all of my friends, near and far, and asked them to add events: tasks, meetings, oddities, random adventures, all sorts. And I promised that I’d do whatever they’d come up with!
I ended up with some of the most creative, social and fun days of my life.
And that‘s how the idea for the Superdays app was born.
Why do we need superdays?
It was my friend Stan who inspired me to start this experiment. In 2009, he built a tool that allowed his Facebook friends to manage his time. He wanted to be free from making his own decisions for one week.
Universes of information. Infinite choices. Endless possibilities. Too many choices. Not enough time. Not enough energy to make a decision. So in our free time, we either do nothing at all, or just do the same things over and over again. We become lazy. We forget to call our friends. We feel tired and uninspired. We dream of holidays, tomorrows, or the next big thing in our lives. Spoilt for choice, we choose nothing.
We lack superdays. Quality time with our friends. We miss our childhood and teenage years. Remember those? Even a boring day was a fun day.
In the end, what‘s life all about? Don‘t we all cherish friendship, love, attention, care, humour, laughter, but most of all people — the ones who make that happen and bring out the best in us?
This strongly motivated me to re-engage with my friends. To give them the freedom to be creative, to go wild. So I gave this experiment a go!
The creation of superdays
I built a simple tool that allowed my friends to modify my calendar. Then I wrote an invitation email to all of them. My calendar filled up quickly! I got really excited about it and also a bit apprehensive by a calendar stuffed with tasks, most of which were unusual and new to me. I haven’t ridden a horse in ages, what if I fall off? How can I overcome my shyness for tasks involving strangers, like complimenting them, or busking?
During the week, I tried to take notes on my adventures, which proved difficult. There was just a lot of input from actually experiencing stuff. I also tried to report back to my friends about my experiences — they had put so much love and work into my events — but there was hardly any time for that. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to create Superdays, so I could keep track of things in one neat and tidy place.
Either way, let me share some highlights, which gives some insight into what superdays feel like.
There were many other events than the ones shown in the pictures above and I loved all of them. Sometimes it was a challenge to start the next event, especially by the end of the week when I started feeling exhausted. I didn’t feel like talking to strangers in such a situation or to spend 4 hours on my computer to re-build my room in Second Life. But I never regretted any of the events after I had pushed myself to do it. Each of them added a unique experience to my life and I would not want to miss it. And who would have thought, I actually really enjoyed that time in Second Life.
The best was how free I felt in not having to make decisions for a whole week, but still constantly to be doing exciting things and being surrounded by my friends.
What I learned:
- Complimenting strangers: super hard ⇒ Compliment friends: super rewarding
- I was touched by my friends’ efforts in preparing my tasks.
- The filled calendar left me very very very tired at some point.
- Cultural differences 1: I couldn’t do one of the events because you can‘t go to a Berlin techno club on a Friday night at 10pm (party-going people only get out of bed then! ;). You also can‘t use mobile phones in clubs or take videos or Facebook live. So that doesn‘t work like it could maybe work over in San Francisco.
- Cultural differences 2: Handing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to homeless people at 2am doesn‘t work in Berlin. Firstly, they sleep at 2am. Secondly, Berlin has little concentration of the homeless in one place (unlike in San Francisco where they line up tents in a street).
But mostly, it is a great exercise to give up on control and to accept what you can‘t change. How you can be in situations that you have to deal with — just like we are put in situations that we have to deal with in life. Subconsciously, we tend to avoid the unpleasant things, the unfamiliar, the new, the daring. Superdays really pushed me to go and explore novelty, all through the helping hands and inspiration of friends. They, as people, are the ones that shape our lives and without whom we humans couldn‘t survive.
Thanks everyone, for your ideas, creativity and effort that you put into my superdays week!
Have your own Superdays: If you want to have your own Superdays ⇒ Check out our app here: https://www.superdays.fun/