A short rant about time management


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Do you ever take on more than you can really handle and then, when asked, decide to take on more? I have that problem a lot, and I’m pretty much gonna ramble about it for the next 500 words or so.
One of the big phrases they pound into your head in college is “time management” and let me tell ya, I’m not a great manager. I always plan out a day, but then end up wasting way more time than I really mean to.
I know I’m not the only one who’s been here. You have homework due at midnight, you get home around 3 from class and decide to just take a little break. Then you look at the clock and it’s 7 o’clock and you have zero progress on that 10-page report due in five hours.
See, this is my main problem. I want to complain about always being busy but I waste, like, at least three or five hours a day. I’ll do one problem of my homework then reward myself with a 30-minute break. I just have to wonder, how much could I get done if I was focused instead of goofing off?
I think I could probably get a lot more done and generally have lower stress. However, would I be happier? I’m not sure. I think of long breaks like oil in an engine. Here at Tech, we tend to run at a high RPM, if you will. So we gotta squirt some extra oil in the ol’ oil pan every now and then. It’s pretty much the only thing that keeps me, and most people I know, sane.
So I guess I answered my own question. People aren’t robots, we need downtime, recreation time, or even just a couple hours to watch a strange Japanese man make a knife out of dried mushrooms on YouTube.
The thing that spurred this whole conversation was me moving one of my hobbies to a more “Side Hustle” position, and adjusting to what was usually an inconsequential hobby suddenly having some standard of quality it has to meet.
I’m talking about doing 3D printing and art commissions. I’m glad to have a chance to earn some grocery money doing a hobby I love, but it is a strange balance. Suddenly, time is a factor; if I charge a flat rate for a commission, I want to finish early so my money to time proposition is reasonable. But at the same time, I need to maintain a decent reputation and please the customer.
That’s a tangent for another day though. I really just have to ask. Does it get better? Like, here at the university there is always something you could be doing rather than leisure. You could study for the exam next week, catch up on homework due in a few days or finish that report due in three days that you’ll totally do before the day it’s due.
When we get out, and we’re really adults doing real jobs can we just… go home and rest easy? I really hope so.
The only message to take away is that, for now, we have to keep at it. We can enjoy the brief respites we get, but we need to keep our eyes on the prize. Also, maybe actually start that report before the day it’s due, that helps too.