“The secret of all greatness is knowing what to do with time.”
They used to talk about people being cash rich and time poor. Nowadays I get the feeling that if your heart is beating, you are time poor by default. Forget about being cash rich!
I am a project focused person. I like to have goals and be working hard towards them. When I’m not working on my goals I feel frustrated and dead in the water. Maybe people like me find it harder than other people to manage their time, given that we really want to be attacking our projects rather than living the mundane parts of our life. We want to be tearing down the road, not polishing the hubcaps! I know that I would be quite happy to drop income so that I can write more, but then I run into a little problem of paying bills and putting food in my mouth. How do I address this basically childish problem, comparable to wanting to put my shoes on before my pants? I need to do my projects but I also need to work. I need to spend time with my family and to clean the house and to get out of the house for the occasional beer. How do I get all this stuff done and not disappear into a world of fractured, incomplete projects, housework that needs to be done, neglected children and frustrated partner?
Burnout is a danger for project focused people. All them colourful candies, we want them all! To avoid the disastrous burnout that this will result in we need to take pause. First off I think that one really needs to choose what one wants to do. I tried to build an aquaponic vegetable garden and start teaching piano whilst building a house a few years ago. It did not end well. I started to realize that I can’t just pick up every new piece of candy that I see because before long my mouth will be so full that I won’t be able to talk.
Secondly I think it’s important for me to finish what I start. Taking the time to finish projects that I have already committed to means there will be less bits and pieces, shards and Detritus from half-finished projects floating around my space just asking me to spend more of my precious time on them. In the long run if I engage with those projects and finish them responsibly I will save time. If you really need to take care of another project, stop working on other ones. Multitasking is, in my experience, for computers.
For instance , and this is one that I in particular need to learn, it’s important to have important to have time into which nothing is scheduled. Time in which I am not merely doing, but being. This safety valve allows me time just to… be. That’s hard! I don’t want to bloody be, I want to be running around working on my project, getting things finished and starting new things, stuffing my gob with candy.
But perhaps that’s not really the point. You can be the most conscientious time saver in the world but if you have too many things demanding your time, no matter how much you save it’s going to get spent quickly and there will be noting saved. Burnout will result.
My partner says it’s strange that we are here at all. What are we all doing here, running around in this odd sandbox of a life? Perhaps people like me need to realize that we’re in this strange corporeal place for a limited time and that existence itself should be appreciated. Maybe it’s more important to stop and smell the roses, to have that time actively scheduled in, showing the universe that I value the ability to do nothing just as much as the ability to do something.
And then go and start a project! (Don’t accuse me of being deep, man.)
Thanks for reading,