(Note: I skipped a day over the weekend because I had this suspect toothache. Made me curious about the best way to go about working when you are not 100%. Topic for another Friday 🙂 )
Friday Sunday: Time
I have been missing a lot of days for this blog recently and I think I realized why. The overarching personal realization I made was this: Time is absolutely a limited resource, and I should treat it that way.
Each of us has exactly 24 hours in a day. The amount of personal time is actually much less. If I add up all of my daily commitments…
- my commute (~1.5 hours)
- work (~7 hours)
- sleep (~8 hours)
- eating (~1.5 hours)
- transitioning between activities e.g. context switching, changing clothes, showering (~1 hour)
That puts me at 19 hours a day spent doing things that I must do. That leaves five hours to do the things I want to do. (DEECENT.)
Before I started this blog, I used one of those free hours for exercise and let the last four float. I used them to surf the internet, socialize, and dick around. No regrets, I wanted to do those things. But I also knew I wanted to pursue certain things, namely make video games. And I knew I would regret not pursuing that. So I started and here I am.
Time Is Zero-sum
After starting my blog, I became much more adventurous in general. As I explored new things, I became acutely more aware there was a limit to how much I could do in a day. Last week, I decided to attend a Ruby workshop that ended up taking 4 hours. I assumed I could go and it wouldn’t affect my day. But in the end, I didn’t work out and I didn’t write a blog post that day. The workshop was great, but there was a trade-off I didn’t quite understand at the time.
On another day, I visited an incubator to see if working in a place like that would be something I want to pursue in the future. The visit ended up taking 5 hours in total after factoring in traffic. I didn’t exercise that day, I didn’t write a blog post.
After I committed to writing here daily, I became much more aware that choosing to do one thing means I cannot do something else. I began to say things like, “Day 32 was 3 days ago and I haven’t come back. Why?” And each time, the answer was because consciously or unconsciously, I chose to do something else.
What can I do to change this? Well, awareness is the first step. I listed out my daily commitments above. Can I optimize them? …not really. They look pretty realistic to me.
But I can be realistic with the commitments to take on for those four free hours.
First, guard that time as much as possible. Get out of bed! Do not take too long getting to the next thing. A good way to guard these times is keep a schedule. Be in the gym by 6:15 PM. Be home by 8 PM. That way, I know I truly have those four hours to spare.
Second, keep an eye on time in extracurricular things. Those other excursions didn’t have to take five hours, but I let them. If I want to pursue these things daily, I need to make sure these other things do not overrun them. Make sure the workshop takes 3 hours so I have time to work out and write to the blog.
Third, do not differentiate between days of the week. The daily commitments I listed don’t apply on my days off! I’m pretty time-rich on the weekend. How do I want to use those hours? Being aware that those hours are available can help me achieve what I want.
Finally, make sure this vigilance doesn’t control my life. As always, everything in moderation. I don’t want to be controlled by my schedule. Rather, I understand that if I want to consistently do these things, I need to ensure I have time for them. I choose to understand that while also living in the moment.
The bottom line is this: if you want to effect change in your life, you need to spend time on it. To spend time, you first need to make sure you have the time to spend. I encourage you to tally up the hours like I just did so you can be realistic about your time as well.
I close this post with this quote I stumbled on today that I really liked.
“Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.”
I hope you take what you like, discard what you don’t like, and add to this post to make it your own. See you next week!
- Finished this roguelike tutorial game.
- The MonoDevelop debugger is really, really slow and doesn’t seem to work
- To do: see if Visual Studio’s debugger works better.
- Found my bug. At the end of the enemies’ turn, I had to switch it back to the player’s turn or the game would stop.
- Ironed out some animation, UI and sound bugs
- Figured out how to set build quality settings (Edit > Project Settings > Quality)
The roguelike is live!
Up Next: Platformer Tutorial