Amy Crow
Designer / Illustrator / Maker

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A Theory About Time Usage

I've decided on a theory about time. Specifically people who use it wisely and people who manage it terribly. 
I think there are three types of people who talk about time passionately. One type claims they hate people who waste theirs, another are actually too busy using their time to have it wasted and then there's the "floater" type that doesn't care how their time is spent.
I'm not so interested in the last category but I'm very invested in the first two. Here's why:

One is actually extremely negative and the other is supremely positive. I think the people who complain about people "wasting their time" or that they "don't have time for x y z" are in actual fact time wasters themselves. I'll let that sink in for a second if that happens to be you - sorry but not sorry because, think about it! If you are flat out, balls to the wall busy doing your rad thing- you don't have time for anything else, you're too focussed on the task. If you genuinely value your time, you're not going to let people waste it or take it away from you without some hard words. Effective time users will very quickly brush something off and say "sorry, can't do right now, I have too much happening!".

In a social setting, if one effective time user (mouthful, much?!) asks another busy person "what have you been up to lately?" The response will be something along the lines of "oh, whoa, so much! so busy! This, then this then this other thing etc". Where as the time wasters will wax lyrical about how drained, tired and stressed they are. It's no shock that they are. They've spent so much time wasting time telling you about how many other people wasted their time over the last week they didn't get anything of importance done which then brought on heart attack levels of stress.

I hit a soft "a-ha" moment the other day when someone explained the meaning of "good free time" to me, which means well earned free time. It is the result of great time management- which made total sense. If you manage your time effectively - you have all your ducks in a row and everything squared away- you are now the proud owner of some legitimate free time that you can use to do whatever you so desire! It's relaxing, rewarding and there's nothing creeping over the horizon because you had it all sorted before this point. "Negative free time" means you get to use your "day off" picking up all the broken pieces from the last week and a half because you were not focussed and were chasing your tail. Ahem.

Maybe you're thinking critically now and have realised you are a time waster (which is lame) but I'm happy you've discovered it now because this gives you a chance to fix it.
So....How can you fix it?
I'm so stoked you asked, here are some ideas and tips that might help you:
1. Stop complaining. Shut your pie hole and stop complaining. You're wasting your time and no one cares- this is the harsh truth. Peoples eye will glaze over because they are not listening to your woes, they're thinking about biscuits or the name of that Netflix show they'd been meaning to watch. When you realise you hold the sole responsibility over your actions and your time, you will stop doing this inefficient BS.
2. Value your time. If you think someone else is trying to take up your time - politely explain (or not, I don't care how!) that you can't right now. You are busy. You have deadlines. You've already planned this week out and perhaps another time would be better. Or be fucking honest and say you're not fucking interested for Christ's sake, you can't make omelettes without breaking eggs. Woman / man up, it's worse to lie and it will bite you in the ass later.
3. Schedule things in to your calendar according to importance/deadlines. Sounds super simple but I know some of you really struggle with this. Logically think about what is the next thing that needs to get done, then do it, then do the next thing. I've spoken about lists so many times I'm going crazy but fucking, honestly?! Get a list together and be diligent about it.

IF IN DOUBT. Create tasks, manage tasks, track tasks and assess the tasks. 

Be effective with your time because you only have a finite amount of it.

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