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Doing Math

There are so many things that I run calculations on it is weird when I can’t because there are too many unknowns.

For instance a budget. Really no problem. Figure out how much we are bringing in, plan for expenses, keep extra money for unknowns, done. No sweat, other than just getting it done. But for some reason planning time is drastically more difficult. In fact my ability to waste time has probably hindered my growth; there are plenty of things on the internet to look at and read. In fact if I am so lucky, you are reading this now.

The problem with time is that you can’t really keep a reserve in an account, it’s use it or lose it, and now. Many people will sacrifice one way of spending time, friends, family, sleep to get ahead or play more games. But that’s just what it is at that point: a sacrifice. In order for an unforeseen time commitment to get its necessary commitment for getting done, it needs sacrifice from some other activity for the push to actually happen.

But there are people who will continue to push, sacrificing their time consistently. Some of these people believe in what they are doing, either that they will get some big payout in the end, or that they will help so many others. Too many do it because otherwise they wouldn’t be able to support their family that they never see.

Both of my jobs since college have been mostly regular, forty hour a week jobs. However, there is the chance that I could spend much more time with the current one. And it is right on the edge of I enjoy this/they don’t pay me enough. I do enjoy my 40 hours a week, and I know I could put in more for some of these projects because over the summer a few weeks I put in eight to sixteen more hours of coding on my masters degree projects. I was lucky in the fact that Jessie was working out-of-town for the weeks, so I didn’t have to worry about spending too little time with her during the week.

But now that the job is over I find it very hard to balance my priorities and I think both school and Jessie suffer because of it. Oh yes, causes me stress and then I waste time and not spending it at least somewhat productively reading, writing, or learning. One thing I read this week has worked on my mind: Inspiration is for Amateurs by Art of Manliness.

With Jessie around I get out of habits and try to schedule my time around hers. This works to some extent but often it leads to me dropping things that I planned to do because I no longer have enough time. On the other hand this balancing also helps me to focus the time I can manage in more productive ways.

But what about the routines mentioned in AoM? I think I am missing out quite severely on my potential because of my lack of routine and lack of discipline. So I must put my foot down and have a routine that allows me to progress and have a regular schedule on which I can build my discipline. It will be harder as the winter months are colder and it is tougher to roll out of bed, but it will also be at a lower cost than other parts of the day. Jessie doesn’t like mornings. She will get up if she thinks it is worthwhile, like for our hike in the park this last weekend, but the morning really starts at 8 for her.

So, although she doesn’t like missing me in the mornings before I go to work, it is still better than staying at work later because I didn’t get in until 9. It is a sacrifice, not eating breakfast with her, but it is somewhat like banking time that I can spend with her in the evening. But it has its other benefits too:

Traffic is lighter if I leave for and leave from work early, the office is quiet and I can get some big rocks (code and such) done before the standup meeting, I am fresh for those tasks and can generally think more clearly than in the afternoon. I just have to continue with the routine, otherwise it will be easy to spend the mornings cozily in bed and then not get home until late in the evening.

I want to become a “creative professional” but I need the discipline and need to set my routine in stone. I love doing math, but I know that my equation needs to be regular in order for me to be more expressive.


Barb Gorges said…
I find for tasks that take concentration, they take less time if I do them in the morning than later in the day. I try to keep my Internet "research" focused on subjects of interest to me--with the occasional cat video for diversion. Scheduling time for family and friends is important--there is just less of it while you pursue your educational goal. Your goal is worthwhile and will pay off. And it is certainly easier to achieve now than when you are older!

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