*disclaimer: I should have done this before I assigned it to my classes but it should turn out anyways.
How do we spend our time? What does that say about us? Looking back over the last 3 weeks to a month, it becomes evident there times when better choices are needed. My classes did a self-assessment about how they use their time. This is my response to that assignment.
Wasted time v. relaxing is a debate we have all the time in our heads. I talk myself into taking little breaks here and there to, “relax or take a break” too often. What happens during these break/relax times: Bejeweled Blitz(i know right?!), twitter scrolling, web surfing. Playing bejeweled is definitely a huge time suck and I’m competitive so I have to always play, “just 1 more time to get a higher score.” I could delete the app but I know I would download it again. One thing I do is set some time limits on how long I play. But then I feel guilty after I’m done: i could’ve read book, learned something new or refined a current skill. I do remember a few times over the past week when I would watch some photoshop or illustrator videos or practice coding and those were just as intriguing as bejewled. Code academy gives you badges and checkpoints and this got me going and I finished two whole courses in 3 days. I use twitter to connect and learn about my craft and to connect with other teachers. Because of my system of being able to save good material for later or for good I think this is oddly productive. I can’t think of to many times I peek at twitter and don’t see a story worth reading, a quote worth borrowing or something that makes me laugh. Twitter doesn’t convict me the same way as bejeweled but it can be a distraction. None of these activities happen when something truly pressing or urgent is on the table. I would rather be present with my family, accomplish some to-do lists tasks or be active than these but they can creep up on you.
I feel most productive during the week when we have a good time as a family, when I workout, and when I am learning something new. Last night we went out to eat at Jimmy Johns and it was a wonderful moment sitting there together. You sit back and relax and reflect on the work/discipline that got you to that moment and it’s all worth it. I try to workout 5 out of 7 days a week. Since the little one goes to bed and they gym is close this works in my favor. There are many nights when I don’t want to work out, then i think about this quote:
“There are two types of pain: The pain of discipline or the pain or regret. Take your pick!”
After that it’s not too tough a decision. I don’t think we can be complacent as people. We need to try to pick up a new skill, new trick if you like in todays world. Our jobs are so competitive it can keep you employable. On the other side of the coin you should challenge yourself! Whether it’s physical or mental don’t get complacent. Step out of your comfort zone. You’ll never what you will find if you don’t do this. What are your dreams? Can this challenge get you there when you might be doing something else. Thinking of the long term rewards of any of what was written about above is enough to make me want to do them more. The key is to be mentally tough enough to combat the excuses. You’re not tired, You are smart enough, you can do this. I would venture to say most people quit before they start because they make excuses in their minds before they get off the couch.
Satisfaction feels good. I’m not going to lie here. When you get something done that you had to work for it is worth it. Since I’m a goal oriented person I feel really good when i’ve put some work into something and see some results. I love the look a freshly cared for lawn and garden. Is the work that hard: not really but it’s all worth it in the end. What about when you workout and see some results. I’ve been going to the gym to shoot on our shooting machine to become a better perimeter shooter and my shooting percentage is going up every time. This translates over to our games and my feel as a shooter. All of the things I work toward have some type of feedback that is immediate but also comes to fruition down the road. My lawn is looking better every year. Every time we play I feel I am more of a threat away from the basket. When I learn something related to my job/skill set I try to implement it soon to make it worth the time I put in to learn it.
Time is precious and I need to make sure my priorities are in line. I will serve my God and nothing else before him. I am committed to my family as a husband and a father in all I do. Knowing this from the get go, it’s an easy choice when evaluating how I spend my days on this earth. Taking a moment to think deeply about I spend them will enable me to be do it wisely.