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Environment Free of Distraction
Too Much Is Eventually Enough
How Much Time?
Not Enough Time
Urgent vs. Important
Free TimeThe following thoughts arise from the peculiar situation I'm in, and depend on certain idiosyncrasies, so they probably won't be of much direct use to anyone else. Nevertheless, here they are … maybe someone will find them interesting.
The peculiar situation is that I have a lot of free time. I'm currently working as a consultant, so sometimes I'm working, and sometimes I'm not; and when I'm not, I'm really not … there are months at a time when I'm free to do whatever I want.
Now, I'm certainly not the most driven person in the world. I spend a lot of time on things that are unproductive. Interesting word, that … mostly I think of it as a synonym for “not worthwhile”, but here I mean it literally, “not producing an object or result”. So, for example, I like to go hiking, read fiction, and watch movies. Those are worthwhile things to do, I think, but they produce nothing. (In other contexts I might argue that they produce thoughts, or states of mind, but here I'm talking about tangible results … about works, let's say.)
On the other hand, even though I'm not driven, there are still some things that I'd like to produce, or accomplish. At first, when I was just getting used to the idea of free time, I figured those things would just happen by themselves, in the normal course of events. So if, say, I wanted to watch a lot of movies, I'd go ahead and watch a lot of movies, then eventually I would have had enough, and would move on to something else. After a while, I thought, I'd have to get around to doing something productive … right? Somehow, though, that never seemed to happen. (For a strange, objective view of what was going on, see Another View.)
Since then, I haven't resolved everything to my satisfaction, but I've made some good observations, and figured out some ways to put them into practice.
Here's one way of combining the previous three points: I should pick out a single project with a definite end, and then allocate a week or more just to that project. I don't feel strongly on the question of allocating week by week versus allocating several weeks at a time, but I will point out that a month is a good size.
So, that's one big conclusion I've come to, that I should allocate my time in large units. The other big conclusion is that it's good to have a routine. I'm still not entirely happy about that; sometimes I think not having a routine is the whole point of free time. On the other hand, maybe I just need to make more of a distinction between having free time and being on vacation. Anyway, regardless of my attitude toward it, the fact is that having a routine really does make me more productive. The following points have to do with routines.
Another View (Free Time)
What Is Best?
@ September (2004)