Thursday, December 01, 2011

Time Prison

I sat down last night (after leaving work late) to review exactly what I have to do at work before the end of the year. By my calculations, I have 250 odd things to accomplish in 20 days. Add to this at least half of that time already has some activity consuming part of all of the day, and you'll begin to understand why I gave a deep sigh when I finished the list.

I'd love to say that the opportunity is there for me to push some of those things off, that somewhere there is some give for me to fall back on. The reality is that I don't think there is. Any backup is called me.

I'm having to start an activity I am not really good at: scheduling each day, every day.

Simply put, now that I have my list I will start checking off what I have to do by the end of the year, figuring days, and saying "on this day, I have to do this and this". And then do that and that - not run off and do other things, not allow myself to be interrupted by others and their tasks, but just keep on and finish what I am doing.

This will be an interesting (if somewhat tiresome) exercise, as I have never tried (or had) to do this level of planning before. I've no idea if it will work or not. I've no idea if I will survive or not.

But if time is the limiting factor, then I need to spend it as carefully as I can - even if that means totally regulating it.

2 comments:

  1. hesrdc7:07 PM

    “When I was seventeen, I read a quote that went something like, ‘If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ Since then…I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
    “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
    -Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, June 12th, 2005

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  2. It's a good quote, and thank you for sharing it.

    The "post-game analysis" from this experiment was, frankly, not promising. I tried to schedule out my time in half hour chunks, and got approximately 5 things done over two days that needed to happen. It initially seems to have made no impact, except for the nagging sense that I've still got too much to do and not enough time to do it.

    The other thought I have is the quote "I know I need to change something." That's not too hard to intuit based on one's life; the question is how does one change it? That's the question that is continually nagging me. One of the low hanging fruit questions in my life: What should I do for a career, based on my age, expertise, and life situation? I can't imagine starting over at this point (many people do, of course), but where I am seems to have no relation to anything else I could be doing.

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