An Update on Segregating My Time

It’s been a little over a week, so I’ve had time to run through a full rotation of my hobby schedule, plus a couple of days. All things considered, things have gone fairly well so far, but I have made some observations.

First off, I have done well at sticking to my scheduled activity. This is obviously the entire point of having a schedule, so that’s a plus. I think I have things lined up on appropriate days to work out with the rest of my life, at least for now.

One…problem…I have discovered is a frustration with not being “allowed” to work on projects as I become inspired about some aspect of them or another. I am reluctant to call this a problem as I feel this behavior is no doubt part of the original problem of bouncing between projects. It is unfortunate none-the-less, as when it rolls around to the time to work on the project in question, I have often lost that spark.

I will have to come up with a reasonable system to note and track these bits of inspiration. I used to carry around a Moleskine notebook for random thoughts. After washing about seven of them, I have not done that for a while, but perhaps I should move back to it. I could take notes on my phone, but I’m half-Luddite and I just hate doing that. I will have to figure something out.

The other “problem” is wanting to work past my scheduled times. This isn’t necessarily always bad, as I have not scheduled any hobby activities back-to-back, so this often just means I get to bed later than I want, which has its own repercussions. I’m not sure if I should be forgiving in the case of these overruns, or if I should strive to wrap up neatly at the allotted hour. This problem can dovetail into the previous problem, as I am often forced to leave off with ideas still brewing.

Finally, it is sometimes frustrating to not have more time to focus on one project or another. I think I’ll just have to get used to this, or cut things from the schedule altogether to make room for others. I want everything to stay for now, so it is what it is.

Another observation I have made is that I find myself wasting time browsing the internet or other inane activities during some unscheduled time. I often think to myself “I should work on one of my projects”, but find I am struck by a strange demotivation, often thinking “I don’t have to work on that right now, I have that scheduled for tomorrow”.

I recognize this is just a personal failure of mine, constantly desiring to min-max my leisure time. “I don’t have to wake up for 3 more minutes.” “If I leave at 4:13, I should arrive right on time.” Etc, etc. So, that’s probably something I will just have to overcome if I want to maximize productivity during my non-scheduled time.

For now, I’m calling the experiment a success, with room for improvement.


3 thoughts on “An Update on Segregating My Time

  1. I have some similar and some different problems when it comes to managing my time. If you’re working at your computer, a program I have found helpful is RescueTime (I don’t work for them or anything; I found out about it from Hank Green of Vlogbrothers). I use it to log my time and see where/when I waste the most hours, and you can set goals, etc. You can also categorize sites as you please (so if you’re a vlogger, you can change YouTube from unproductive to productive, etc.).

    I use this in combination with StayFocusd, a browser extension. You can put in sites to block and to only allow X amount of time on those sites per day before blocking them.

    I know these things won’t solve ALL the issues you talked about here, but they have really helped me cut down on wasting unscheduled time (or eating into what I intend to use as productive time). If you can’t check the websites you usually waste time on, then you might end up using your unscheduled time to work on a different project even if it’s not scheduled for that day.

    Anyway, as an ace procrastinator who is trying to reform, I thought I’d share some of the tools I use to help me out. XD

    • Thanks for the links, I will check them out. I think it would take some metrics to know how much to limit sites during unscheduled time, given browsing and updating many of them are, to some degree, productive during that time. Unfortunately, as with many things, it’s all about moderation. Certainly useful ideas for reducing distractions for two of my three dedicated activities though.

      • RescueTime is good for metrics. I only use the free version, but you can still track which sites you spend the most time on, and then you can decide if that’s useful time or not (e.g., using WordPress). It does take some degree of being honest with yourself. Once you log a few weeks in RescueTime, then StayFocusd would be more useful as you figure out what sites you want to limit your time on. I do a very basic setting on StayFocusd, but there might be a way to only limit use during certain times of day? That I’m not sure of. So you could place limits or completely block sites during time you’ve scheduled for productive tasks, and then leave the time open during the unscheduled slots as a sort of decompression (because personally I do think some “wasting time” time is important, if that makes sense).

        Anyway, now I kind of feel like RescueTime and StayFocusd should be paying me for advertising, so I’m going to stop. XD Everyone has their own tips and tricks for being productive, so you just have to find what works for you. I’m glad your experiment is a success so far!

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