Time, an illusion

I feel like this week has gone by really fast, but at the same time really slowly. Sometimes I can’t tell. These days I feel like it’s a struggle to get through the entire week, and I just look forward to the weekend every time. I still love my job, but I have just been getting very tired lately. I’ve been on about it for a few months already, and it’s just that I think my trip to Indonesia last year has messed up my whole sleeping pattern and my schedule in general. I won’t lie, I’ve been getting to work on time in the past few weeks, but even then, it’s only about 75% of the time. I struggle finding time to make proper lunch and run for four kilometres in the morning, which makes me a little sad. I know that in time I’ll slowly ease back into it, and my body is probably just taking its sweet time regenerating whatever it’s regenerating… hopefully some cholesterol-kicking cells, because I still haven’t gone to the doctor to check up on my cholesterol.

It’s not a priority.

But it should be.

Since reading Are You As Busy As You Think?, an article by by Laura Vanderkam, I’ve been thinking that maybe I’m not as busy as I think (or tell people), and maybe I’m just wasting my time and not using my time efficiently. Laura says, “What I thought was a 60-hour workweek wasn’t even close. I would have guessed I spent hours doing dishes when in fact I spent minutes. I spent long stretches of time lost on the Internet or puttering around the house, unsure exactly what I was doing”. I can’t deny that I’ve felt this way as well, and I’ve probably just been deceiving myself all along. I do actually spend up to an hour chatting to my friends on my phone and texting when I get home from work. I do surf the internet on my phone before I actually get out of bed. Yes, that’s bad.

And yes, I know that’s a problem. I recognised this problem a long time ago, but it’s obvious I didn’t really do anything to remedy it. I signed up to Nicole’s monthly newsletter, in which she shares simple tips to create a “bullshit-free life”. Having started up Project Simplify Georgie, it’s awesome to see another blogger on the same wavelength, working towards a simpler, and, well — bullshit-free — life. In one of Nicole’s newsletters, she admitted that the first thing she used to do in the morning was check her email. She bought herself an actual alarm clock, and left her phone in another room overnight to ensure that she was physically incapable of checking her email from bed.

Back to Laura’s article. To remedy this time-wasting business, she used a timer and timed herself when it came to tasks and working, so she could see how much time she really spent. Additionally, she was just honest. Honest about the time she spent and how much free time she had. Above all, the game-changing thing was to change her language, and instead of saying “I don’t have time”, to say, “It’s not a priority”.

I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: ‘I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.’ ‘I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.’ If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

Earlier this week, Cal sent me to a Max Design workshop for responsive web design (RWD), presented by Russ Weakley of Max Design. I know I have some knowledge in RWD, but it was great to go to this workshop and brush up on my current knowledge. Russ was great teacher and he made the workshop more enjoyable. It comes with stark contrast to university classes, where teachers are usually sitting there, not keen on what they’re teaching, or not even specialised in what they do. This, I realise, is what makes me as a student, dislike some subjects. Teachers show so very little enthusiasm in what should be passionate to them. That’s pretty much it. If you’re just reading from a slide, what is that? Teachers have the knowledge and experience. They should share experiences, what research they did or where they went that brought them to this point, or how they, themselves, learned. I highly doubt that people learned everything they know just from reading a book or listening to someone stand at a podium. We learn from real-life experiences, no matter how small or big.

So, yeah, who am I kidding, as I open my mouth to whine about how there’s not enough time to do my homework? I know I went out for dinner with Johnny and Fern on Tuesday night, and we walked and hung out around Glebe for the night. I know I was up until 3am working on a new responsive design for my portfolio. I know I slept all of yesterday afternoon, going into some strange kind of hibernation mode.

Time to re-think things a little.

Comments on this post

I just love the name Fern. Love it. My sister used to live near Glebe. She is moving back to Sydney in 2 weeks time and is setting up house in 5 Docks I think it is. So I will be coming up for a visit so when that time comes I will let you know. She is buying me a plane ticket for my birthday so it is basically my call when I want to come up (birthday is Good Friday) …

I know I do nothing with my time. I am extremely lax with it when I shouldn’t be. The problem is I lack motivation to be truthful.

Responsive layouts are wonderful. I am at the moment teaching myself how to do them properly. I actually had a look at your work website. I didn’t realise there was only 2 of you. I find that really awesome personally ♥

You should really try and go to the doctor. To make sure that your cholesterol is okay and maybe to talk about how you are feeling mentally as well. I know you have suffered with depression and I would hate to see a relapse of sorts.

That is a really interesting article, because it is true. I do it all the time, waste time on so many things and get lost in that wasted time when I have no idea how long I have actually wasted. Tips like that really are helpful! :D

I really love and adore the design you have on your portfolio. :’)

This is really true. I know I would have more time to work on my blog if I simply made it a priority again, but I instead do TCG-related things that are often so time consuming. With that said, I would have time to update on time for the TCGs I own and creative ideas for things if I set aside time for them. But I don’t, and that needs to be fixed before I decide if I’m completely done with them.

Last year, it took Peggy, a sweet CSM, to make me realize that risking my health was not worth continuing my job. I guess that in a way she persuaded me to quit working there, and when she learned I was leaving, she understood my reasoning and wished me a lot of luck. I do miss her, though, and I really wish I had given her my number or something. I think a lot of my coworkers had/have it, though. :p But I think that health should be a priority. If I had realized it before I was so bad, maybe I would be ten steps more forward than I am right now.

I really love your new portfolio design! I’m really craving to change mine, but I can’t find or think of anything better than the cloud-look. I like how I’m featured as well. :P 👏 😏 /bounce Not everyone can say that! /wave

🙄 I still love the blue, though. /love I think that if I had chosen any other color that I would have grown annoyed with it. Blue seems to be able to last. …although, red would have worked as well. ;) I was just worried about red turning into a pink shade or something. Can’t have that.

wow, this was good to read. I definitely am in the same boat with wanting to be more productive but not ‘finding the time’. It’s not cos I don’t have the time, but because I don’t want to make certain things a priority. I definitely think that actually setting a timer for all of your tasks and even removing your phone/laptop/whatever from your bedroom is a good way to minimize wasteful internet time. I definitely am more productive when I make lists and set time limits on more ‘wasteful’ activities like browsing the internet for ‘inspiration’ (which I do much too often). Glad you wrote about this and I definitely want to read more of A Life Less Bullshit.

I think that my main problem is finding the inspiration and the energy to actually do the things that I need/want to do. I have way too much time on my hands…although that will more than likely change when I go back to University in August, or when I get a job. Yikes! :) I guess that I should enjoy my downtime while I can. :D

I love your new portfolio design! I’m not too sure that I’d call it a waste of time because it is something that would have needed to be done sooner or later anyway. And it is awesome that your boss is letting you go to these workshops once in a while! It is so much easier to learn when someone is feeding you the information than on your own.

I know someone who used to say that all the great works of art have already been created because today, people have too many distractions to deal with. Maybe he’s right, but I like to think that he’s wrong.

Aha we all have these moments when we wonder why we are busy. As someone who does not spare time connecting with friends (I have not been able to speak to my best friend for a year), I’d say I waste half an hour a day on web browsing. However it’s something I have to do because I get to see a lot of cool shit relevant to my work. Otherwise, when I’m home I stay clear of my phone and Skype/AIM because I can’t afford to get distracted.

Oh, don’t forget wasting time waiting for trains. Usually this time comes out of lunch or dinner. Yep that’s terrible.

According to your portfolio (looks great, by the way!) you studied communications, which is lecture like most studies. Professors who lecture are just droning and thinking “just need to get this over with.” What I do like about my classes (advertising) is that the professors are actually interested in their subjects and talk to us as individuals.