Thursday, February 4, 2010

Time Management

I’ve decided that my feelings of being pressed for time come from not doing the right things with the time I have.

After I play the violin, I feel satisfied and content for the rest of the evening. I wonder if I would feel that way if I played the violin early in the day every day. Maybe using time wisely is like eating nutritious food. Everybody has 24 hours per day, but sometimes, those 24 hours are more satisfying than other times. Maybe wasting time is like eating junk food. In both cases, you’re using up a resource, but it’s not satisfying your needs, and it leaves you wanting for more. Using time well is like eating nutritious foods; it satisfies you. Just like more Twinkies will never satisfy a person who really needs vitamins, more time spent checking e-mail, paying bills, worrying, griping about dirty dishes in the sink, will never satisfy a person who really needs to play their violin. After you eat your veggies, though, your cravings often subside. After I play the violin, I stop caring about the dishes. I’m too busy whistling to care about the dishes.

Ah priorities. People say that you should set priorities and do the most important things first. I think it’s true. Easier said than done. Maybe I should play the violin every day before I go to work (as long as it’s not too early in the morning). I like the idea of praying five times a day, as practicing Muslims are supposed to do. That’s five times a day that you are forced to remember what your priorities are. I am not religious, but I do like rituals.

It’s too bad when one has a feeling, for one reason or another, that what one is supposed to do and what one wants to are misaligned. Right now, for example, I want to play the violin in the hour before I go to work.

On the other hand, I feel like I should spend the time doing something that will help me progress in my writing. I’m annoyed that I spend so much time working as a cashier, plus time to commute to and from work. I think that I should spend at least that much time writing. Alas, I don’t.

And should I spend the whole time dealing with my bodily functions, ie., making lunch, eating it, and packing dinner to take to work, or should I spend money to buy my dinner at Whole Foods to save time?

I guess if you make more money in the time it would take you to make a sandwich than what it would cost you to buy a sandwich, it’s a good investment. That’s why businesspeople eat out. I’ll keep making my sandwiches for now.

I spend a lot of time worrying about how to spend my time. It’s ironic but true.