It’s a cliché to talk about how busy we all are. But, it’s grounded in reality. At the moment, I’m juggling revision for my final exams, writing (both freelance and for myself), staying fit and healthy, moving out of my student house and organising plans for the summer (by the way – I am aware that to some of you, that must sound like a walk in the park).
This advice from Dr. Jordan Peterson has been absolutely key in staying on top of it all for me:
You’ve got to start getting realistic about how much time you’re wasting. A bit of basic maths will quickly show you how it adds up. For example, if you spend an hour a day scrolling mindlessly through your phone, that works out at over two weeks a year. Scary stuff.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to get familiar with Google Calendar. You could use a simple to do list, or any other planner… Whatever works for you. Schedule your time realistically, not optimistically: stuff always takes longer than you think. When you manage to stick to your schedule, allow yourself a reward. You’ve got to treat yourself the same way you would anyone else trying to get a task done: fear, bullying or intimidation won’t work. As Dr. Peterson says, “You’re not your own servant.”
For me, that kind of thinking has allowed me to fit in writing (when walking back and forth from university), to substitute my usual lengthy workouts at the gym for pull-ups and push-ups (in breaks between revision), and save menial admin tasks for when my brain is torched in the evenings.
So, reanimate your dead time – get serious about scheduling.
For more on the topic, check out a post I wrote about how to make the most of ‘dead time’ here. This is day 27/100 of a self-imposed ‘100 days of writing’ challenge.