I’m looking at my iCalendar. The array of colored dippin dots sprinkled across the screen tells me one thing: Wow, there’s A LOT going on.
I remind myself that they’re there to keep me organized. It’s okay, you got this.
But as I get back into the swing of Fall Semester, let me remind myself of 3 things regarding my time:
1. Time is my most valuable asset.
People say “Time is money.” But, instead of thinking about it in terms of us “using our time to make money,” remember we can make more time if we’re strategic about how it’s spent. One quick example is I’ve been batch processing my emails. Anytime I can go “Industrial Revolution” on a series of tasks, focusing on a very specific, repetitive task and thereby increase the rate of work, I’ll get in the flow and knock out 10-20 emails in a row. This expedites my output rate and prevents me from unnecessarily wasting time on things that don’t really matter. “Everyone has the same 24hr in a day.” This allows me to spend my time on the people and things that I value most.
2. I choose how to spend my time.
There’s always email, there’s always work, there’s always a fire to put out. Instead of letting my surroundings dictate my actions, I’ll set aside and block off time for tasks that I prioritize at specific points in the day. Some fires may need to simmer on their own – it’s okay, they’ll survive. I’ll continue to put out those fires, but only at other designated blocks of times that don’t infringe on my priorities.
3. Do what you love.
We bounce between so many different things, it’s easy to lose sight of where you started. This summer, I spent the most time I’ve spent in a while playing percussion. I practiced for a performance at my sister-in-law’s wedding. I watched, worked, and talked with other great percussionists like Chris Lamb and Alan Stewart. I spent time practicing and recording reference videos of the California All-State and All-Southern auditions for my students. Through the process I remembered how much I love playing percussion. I’ve spent so much time teaching, working, going to school the past few years, I re-discovered how gratifying it is to play for the love of playing – to shut the doors on the world and just work on refining one thing, something that you’re interested in. You’re working not to meet a deadline, but because you love it and are interested in it.
You know this is happening when you lose sense of time and it just seems to fly by. These are the moments and activities that fuel the rest of our day. How often have we forgotten what gets us excited and passionate about what we’re doing? Work takes over our lives, myself included, and we just need to keep reminding ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing. I work hard because, for me, there’s no stronger fuel than my family and friends. So work hard, and work fast, but when you’re done, be done. Put away the computer, put away the phone and stop, so you can enjoy life with family and friends.
What do you love to do? What keeps you fueled, and how to you carve out time to make sure you’re spending it on things you love?
If you have your own tips on doing what you love, or have anything else to add and share, please use the comment section below and join or start a conversation 🙂
Thanks for reading!