I love the 19th-century idea of the flaneur, the poet wandering through the streets.
The phrase 'work/life balance' encapsulates a depressing outlook.
Am I the only person in the world who is shocked and amazed at the ongoing flattery of uebergeek Mark Zuckerberg?
If we are to make life into a pleasure rather than a struggle, then I would suggest that we have to start with our own mental attitudes.
One aspect of fast London life I have never understood, for example, is the custom of the gym. Why do people go to gyms?
I've never understood activity holidays since we seem to have far too much activity in our daily lives as it is. Find a culture where loafing is the order of the day and where they don't understand our need to be constantly doing things. Find somewhere you can have a hammock holiday.
I've given up email. Well, almost. At the weekend I set up one of those auto-reply messages, informing my correspondents that I would no longer be checking my emails, and that instead they might like to call or write, as we used to in the olden days.
One of the least arduous but most productive of gardening jobs, the magic of deadheading never fails to delight me. It was a revelation when the principle was explained to me: that flowers are the attempt by the plant to reproduce itself. So if you cut the heads off before the flower turns into seeds, the plant will continue to flower.
Beauty, pleasure, freedom and plenty of sleep: these are the hallmarks of a successful idler's break. Travel should not be hard work.
What seems extraordinary is that the richest countries in the world, in terms of economic output, are the ones where we work hardest.
Faffing is good. It is an important part of life. Faffing is when we disconnect from the matrix and idle for a while, like a car. Our body and spirit know deep down that human beings were not made for constant toil so subconsciously creates space through the mechanism of faffing.
I could happily lean on a gate all the livelong day, chatting to passers-by about the wind and the rain. I do a lot of gate-leaning while I am supposed to be gardening; instead of hoeing, I lean on the gate, stare at the vegetable beds and ponder.
If you can find a way to make a living doing something you enjoy, or a range of things that you enjoy, then it can scarcely be called work.
Computers tend to separate us from each other - Mum's on the laptop, Dad's on the iPad, teenagers are on Facebook, toddlers are on the DS, and so on.
What is required as we travel towards full unemployment is not new legislation but a gradual change of mental attitude, a shift in values. As our taste for idling grows, we will refuse to work for old-fashioned bosses who demand a five-day, 40-hour, nine-to-five type week, or worse.
Punk was a protest against work and against boredom. It was a sign of life, a rant, a scream, a rejection of bourgeois morals. But have things improved since then? Arguably, they've got worse.
Whether you live in the city or in the country, creating time for a leisurely ramble is an easy thing to do.
In both word and deed, one of the greatest idlers of all time was John Lennon. In his songs we see repeated defences of simply lying around doing nothing.
Indolence, of course, is an absolutely crucial part of the creative process: you do not find poets sitting in rows in cavernous word factories, staring at screens. They are rather to be found lolling on the sofa or strolling through the groves, nursing their melancholic temperaments and losing themselves in extended reveries.
I'm not sure if I could bear to go on an aeroplane again. It's not my concern for the welfare of the planet. It's not even the long check-in times and queuing. No, it's the humiliation of the security process that has finally done it for me.
These days we seem more bound to our bosses than ever before. We even identify our own selves with the jobs we do: 'What do you do?' is the first question we ask each other at parties, as if a job title could express a fundamental truth about our personality.
We have to wonder whether digital technology, rather than making it easier to communicate, is actually doing the opposite. We now sit alone at a keyboard, firing off zeros and ones into the ether. Offices are silent.
Of all the depressing abuses of language in business, there is none that gets me so incensed as the rampant overuse of the word 'passionate' in company slogans, marketing blurbs, mission statements and on the sides of vans.
Bosses should sanction the nap rather than expect workers to power on all day without repose. They might even find that workers' happiness - or what management types refer to as 'employee satisfaction results' - might improve.
Long weekends at festivals, short weeks at home, all summer long: now that is surely preferable to the immense cost and headache of the nuclear family holiday in the sun?
It takes a while to master the art of hammock-lounging. At first I could only manage five minutes or so before I thought I ought to get out and go and help a child learn how to swim or something. But after observing the Mexicans' capability for staring into space for hours on end, I decided to put in some proper practice.
Embrace the faff. Stare out of the window. Bend paperclips. Stand in the middle of the room trying to remember what you came downstairs for. Pace. Drum your fingertips. Move papers around. Hum. Look at the garden.
If your work is done on the phone, then surely you can set up some kind of wireless system. If your work involves reading or writing reports, then this too could be done outside.
Once you explore life outside of work, it becomes addictive. The less you work, the less you want to work. At first, the odd afternoon off seems like a fantastic luxury. Before long, you are opting for a four-day week. Then a four-day week becomes an intolerable demand on your time, so you find a way of moving to a three-day week.
The terrible thing about the Internet and Amazon is that they take the magic and happy chaos out of book shopping. The Internet might give you what you want, but it won't give you what you need.
Laziness works. And the simple way to incorporate its health benefits into your life is simply to take a nap.
When we are busy at work and busy at home, an hour's walking every day becomes a real luxury. If done alone, the walk injects a period of meditation into the day, and if done in company, it allows space for some really good conversation.
Poetry, being supremely useless, by its very existence represents a protest against the so-called 'real world' of busy-ness and moneymaking, so we must embrace, salute and support our poets.
We can live frugally. The less you work, the less you spend and the more time you have for loafing about. But when I put forward this simple notion, I was greeted with a volley of resentment.
On bikeback, there is a delightful sense of self-direction and autonomy. Lately, I have taken to cycling slowly, more fun than the fast, competitive commuter cycling I used to do. No longer do I jump lights or attempt that irritating wobbling thing that semi-professional cyclists like to indulge in.
Management gurus in general are, I think, best avoided. All too often they reduce your working life to a list of rules to be followed. Targets are aimed at. Goals kicked at. You then break the rules or forget them and, hey presto, you start beating yourself up.
Faffing is completely harmless, whereas its opposite - dynamic, purposeful activity - is often very harmful. Faffers do not tend to kill people or make them work 12-hour days or sell them shoddy merchandise or lend them vast sums of money that they cannot pay back.
It's pretty obvious that Western lifestyles which rely on gigantic amounts of electricity use up far more resources than a subsistence-based life. A little more poverty would be a good thing.
When stuck years ago in a job I hated, my only friend was the public bench. As the tedious mornings dragged on, how I would long for the lunch hour, when I would be able to escape the torture of the office and stroll over to the churchyard and into the comforting wooden embrace of one of its benches.
The world's richest half billion people - that's about seven per cent of the global population - are responsible for fifty per cent of the world's emissions.
In this age of getting what you want and getting it now, the simple pleasure of browsing is often forgotten.
I originally welcomed the mobile phone, as it seemed to me that it would enable you to work from anywhere. On the mobile, who was to know if you were sitting on the branch of a tree or sitting in an office? But it instead had the opposite effect: instead of freeing us from the office, it allowed the office to take away our freedom.
Working is bad enough in the winter, but in the summer it can become completely intolerable. Stuck in airless offices, every fibre of our being seems to cry out for freedom. We're reminded of being stuck in double maths while the birds sing outside.
Now I'm no biologist, but it seems to make a lot of sense that slow lives, as well as being enjoyable, are long lives. One only has to think of the example of the tortoise for proof of this theory from the animal world.
We no longer sing and dance. We don't know how to. Instead, we watch other people sing and dance on the television screen. Christmas, which was once a festival of active enjoyment, has turned into a binge of purely passive pleasures.