Time Management

In Life on April 10, 2011 by thebetweenthoughts

I’m pretty good at estimating how long a project is going to take and then creating (and sticking to) a schedule.  If you’ve seen “About A Boy,” this quote might seem familiar:

“I find the key is to think of a day as units of time, each unit consisting of no more than thirty minutes.  Full hours can be a little bit intimidating and most activities take about half an hour.  Taking a bath: one unit, watching countdown: one unit, web-based research: two units, exercising: three units, having my hair carefully disheveled: four units.  It’s amazing how the day fills up, and I often wonder, to be absolutely honest, if I’d ever have time for a job; how do people cram them in?”

I view the day in the same way – discrete blocks of time dedicated to one activity or another.  The unfortunate thing for me is that my discrete blocks of time end up adding to 20, 30 or 40 hours a day.  Whoops.  (In college, I did a phone interview for a market research study.  The interviewer wanted to document how much time I spent studying, listening to music, watching TV, etc., etc.  After we spoke, he added up all of the activities and realized I was well over 24 hours in a day.  I nodded and said, “And?”)

I hate idleness.  Idle time is wasted time.  Considering that I never expected to make it past 25 (an honest thought at one point in my life), every moment I have now needs to be dedicated to something productive.  I need to keep on pushing forward.  I have a fear of looking back and seeing nothing of note.  Idle time is dead time.  To combat this, I have succumbed to the vice of overcommitment time and time again.  I agree to things I’m not fully interested in only to fill up the awkward moments of life.  Sadly, I can never stay “disinterested” – I’m too responsible to let that happen.

It’s funny though, the more that you try to engage your mind and fill up the day with one project or activity after another.  The less engaged you become with life.  It’s something that I’ve found in stand up comedy, the more that I practice and focus on jokes, the less engaged I become with the audience.  It’s all just white noise in my head, a distraction.

The question is – What am I trying to distract myself from?



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