The Study Dude—Waste Time the Smart Way

What time wasters haunt you?

I waste an hour every morning reading health articles.  But I convince myself that, when I turn 70, I’ll write the MCAT and enter an undergraduate program in medical science education.  I could become a doctor by the time I turn 80.  So, for the past two days, I’ve poured over admissions requirements for the MD program.  Cough!

I also tell myself studying for the MCAT prevents Alzheimer’s.  Plus, I’d gain knowledge to report to my angels when I enter heaven.  Angels love to hear about the knowledge we’ve gained while on Earth, according to near death experience accounts.  Double cough!

But realistically, I need to earn an income.  Pay down debt.  Keep a roof over my head.  Eat groceries.  You know, live the dream.  So, I need focus, not time wasters.  “Time wasters enter your life every day” (page 156 of 270, 56&).

So, ask yourself, “if things were perfect, what time wasters would disappear? ….  Then set about making the changes necessary to make them disappear” (p.  157 of 270, 57%).  I’d slash off an hour of sleep (nine instead of ten), cut out Amazon Prime health documentaries, stop reading so many health articles, and put aside studying for the MCAT.

But I’m keeping my gym-time.  Non-negotiable.  Life is too short to miss the highs of the gym.  What hobby of yours can you not live without?  Yes, be choosy with your time.

One way to overcome time wasters involves crafting a routine.  Make a to-do list: “add anything necessary and identify one or two things that are priorities, things that you must do today” (p.  176 of 270, 64%).  Whenever I map out to-do lists, my productivity soars.  I get all my gym-time, cleaning, work, and training tutorials done early.  And I end up with time for reading health articles.  But as soon as I shift away from my to-do list, my productivity plunges.

Schedule even time wasters on your to-do list: each day “do something nice for yourself ….  Take care of yourself” (p.  176 of 270, 64%).   I love to sweat in the gym, hop in the steam, shower in ice cold water, and eat a high fiber breakfast.   What nice thing can you offer yourself?  Read a book?  Do a sport?   Watch a health documentary?  Just make sure your nice things don’t swallow your day.

Instead of wasting time, “focus on a habit change” (p.  176 of 270, 64%).  My dream is to make documentary films.  So, I started learning Adobe After Effects at least two hours a day.  What habits would you like to create?  Gym-time?  Healthy eating?  Skills-development?  Let your dreams forge your habits.

Lastly, “do daily duties” (p.  176 of 270, 64%).  On my to-do lists, I schedule duties like cleaning, learning, working, and, of course, exercising.  Slot your schedule on a phone app.  And make sure to add time for breaks, lunch, sleep, and, best of all, fun.

So, waste time the smart way.  Choose careers, hobbies—and time wasters—that lead to dreams but pay the bills.

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