Hello again, dear Internet!
My monthly thoughts as summarized in the title are not a Dr. Strange reference, although I might consider myself a cumberbabe. Nevermind… Let’s start!
The topic of this month’s reflexion is a small thought train on time management and at the same time tries to be a very pragmatic motivational speech on the topic of mastering one’s given hours and years in this life.
Time is an arbitrary unit, and albeit the factual divisions and units on clocks being agreed upon worldwide, it’s duration is highly subjective. The speed of time, first and foremost, depending on the intensity of thought in one’s head: I am constantly thinking about something, making connections between details and adding philosophical meaning towards minuscule miscellanea. This is how my headspace works, so I am basically never bored when let alone to wander in said space. Waiting in line for an hour or so has never been a problem for me, thanks to the constant movement in my head.
To achieve productivity, however, I have to lay substantial groundwork towards reducing the headspace bustle and focus on one or two subjects. I know how to achieve that state of mind and thus am already the master of my head.
Another fairly complicated matter and the real MVP methodology consists of focusing one’s time as well, and this is a summarum of three elements: external movement, internal movement and the ability to zen through both of them.
Picture yourself sitting on a train, for example. You need to get from point A to point B. Let’s put a very specific example say I’m going to a tattoo appointment, so in my case that’s an eight minute walk to the subway, two to four minutes to the main station, then two hours and twenty minutes to the city of Göttingen where my amazing tattoo artist lives.
All of these movements are familiar to me – I know which platform the train leaves from, how to move between subway and train, when there will be some nasty mountain tunnels – oh so useful but block my ears in the most annoying way. Summarum – my external movements are defined and set, meaning I can already point my internal movements toward the task at hand: working on the train.
Side note: Take headphones with you, always, when on a train.
It is absolutely possible to maximize the 2 hours and 20 minutes of train-riding into 2 hours of work, let’s subtract getting distracted by passengers getting on and off (ha), a bathroom break and getting on and off (ha) oneself.
You can also plan your time and fill it in a very efficient way – there are times to multitask and there are times to focus. Also, don’t forget the fact that it is, in fact, always, your time.
Of course, the ideal management of time for people such as me would assume minimal movement. I am a person who writes and reads for a living, so maximum work productivity would require minimum workplace abscence, right?
Basically, yes, however one needs a bit of input from time to time – one also needs a bit of food from time to time, so those walks are a nice thing. One should also maximize one’s breaks.
Which brings me to another key point – to master one’s time, one needs to be present. This means, focusing on work when working and focusing – hard! – on leisure while leisuring. The problem nowadays is that usually both involve scrolling on your phone. So try to separate work and private apps/messages from each other. The well-paid people have two separate phones and (from an outside perspective to this privilege) I think that’s a nice thing.
Interestingly enough, time management and such are more often than not semantically connected to business and workspace – to maximize one’s life quality, your ‘private’ time should be managed as carefully, though!
Did I mention I consider social activity and smalltalk to be an utter waste of time? It’s a distraction. Find people who think the same way. Discard other people. Rule the universe together, in a meticulously executed time share! </sarcasm>
To master your time, you need to focus on your time. Plan, do, and don’t “try and make the deadline” or “maybe start soon” but seriously consider your capabilities, needs, means and motivation. Slap yourself until motivation appears. Do. It. Now.
Do you agree with my tough love approach? It’s certainly not for everybody, but do you also like to make the most of your time?
Thanks for stopping by. See you next month 😉