I have been reading stevepavlina for maybe 2 months now, and i have been putting to use many ideas that i have gotten from this site. I find myself now in a situation where i have to keep my levels of organization and focus up. I have a full time job, and I'm taking 2 college classes- one is self paced and one is in a classroom setting. I know that i can easily keep on track with all of my goings on, but i find that im still wasting too much time. I have already fallen behind on my self set pace for my Psychology class, and im just the slightest bit backed up on my history readings. The biggest wasters of time for me now are:
(1) Communication: i find that i spend too much time on the phone with my girlfriend, or my parents, or others.
(2) Tangets: i often find myself spending time researching or participating in activities that are not helping me to accomplish my current important goals of keeping up with my college classes. (that's just my elequent way of saying that i spend too much time surfing the net! ;) )
I know that there are many helpful articles published both on steve's blog, and other places online, but i would like feedback from all of you. If you have a suggestion on the lines of time management, something that i can actually implement, please post up here. Thanks in advance for all of the ideas!:)
I have three thoughts on this.
Start with acceptance. You are the one in charge here. Take full responsibility for your own life. Live proactively instead of living reactively. Don't wait until things blow up. Somebody once said "There are some who make things happen, some who watch things happen and some who ask "what happened?"."
Also, don't ask yourself "why?". Ask "how?".
Additionally, set a series of deadlines.
toasterwater, if you still enjoy doing all this (communication, activities, researching), maybe you don't need to think too much about accomplishing your goals. I think that by doing everything to achieve certain heights you may actually make your life less fulfilling and enjoyable, so such thoughts need a special care and a thorough consideration.
I certainly found when I was studying in secondary school (high school), I mapped out the entire syllabus for a particular subject (say Biology) and assigned a week to each topic. I assembled past exam papers as well as any other sorts of practice tests that I could use for revision. I used 2 weeks for this.
I was pretty ruthless about what I allowed to impinge on my time and kept distractions to a complete minimum ( and that included time with my parents although they were very supportive). I passed all of my exams with As.
You have to focus and decide what is important to you. Your parents will always be there and your girlfriend, once you explain things to her, will be supportive as well.
I have the same problem, especially with the internet. I don't waste a lot of time, but it's those thirty minutes every day that I could be using on things more important to me.
I'm a high school student - when my parents took my laptop (my only computer) away from me for a few weeks, I noticed I had a lot more time to do things I considered to be more important.
My suggestion is to set rigid guidelines for when to be on your computer. I give myself one hour (from three to four pm) every day to use as free time (which I try to spend responsibly - cleaning my room, checking my email, etc.) - in your case, talking to your girlfriend or doing stuff you enjoy - and then use Steve's timeboxing techniques to cover the rest - (schedule yourself x amount of time to accomplish something, and stop at the end of the time, even if you weren't complete)
I think this is a pretty common problem, but it's very important to improve it.
When I was an employee, I counted up one day and discovered that I spent 2-3 hours/day surfing the web! (I later learned that this made me a pretty good employee in the US, but I decided to try to restrict myself to my breaks anyway.)
My employer was relatively flexible, so decided that I just had to give him 7.5 hours every day (8 hours - .5 hours paid break). I started tracking my time, and made sure that I gave him 450 minutes every day, no matter how late I had to stay to do that.
I quickly found that clicking that link didn't sound as good as going home at 5.
So you might try setting a certain amount of time you want to spend on study, or determine the things that absolutly have to get done. Then tell your girlfriend that you'll call her as soon as your studying is done. If you want to surf the web, that's fine, but you're taking away from time you could be spending with her. And I'm sure your girlfriend will be honored to be your motivation.
May not work for you -- just throwing out ideas.
I have made the experience that your parents will NOT always be there - and that if they die at a time when you have been postponing calling them, visting them or sending them a just-to-say-hello card you will really regret that you didn't do this earlier while you still had the chance to do it.
So my suggestion would be, that if you focus on your work and studies you should explain this not only to your girlfriend but also to your parents, to avoid giving them pain and straining your relationship. And to try making the most of the time you spend with them - get to know them while they're here.
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