OMTL Day 3: Time Squared

Todays reading talked about using our time meaninfully. Every minute and second gone is gone forever. If these were my last 30 days I’d think each second was precious.

What consumes most of your time each day? What exactly consumes you at work? How much of any given day to you spend doing only what you do best?

Work is the biggest part of my day. As a computer programmer I’ve never felt like time management was intended for me. It is for people who have a bunch of different things they need to make sure they get done. Me, I just sit in front of a computer all day and churn out code. It is lucrative, but I don’t find it meaningful. It used to be fun, but now its just something I do.

That being said, there have been many times in my work life where I’ve got nothing to do. Between projects. When there is no project. I wrote a book in that time once. I wasted a year like that when I worked for Apple. Right now, that’s what work is like. My boss pulled me off a project a couple of months ago to work on another short term project. Well that short term project was finished two weeks ago. But my boss got sick and with him out the project can’t ship. So there has been nothing to do for 2 weeks. If he is still out on Monday, I’ll go back to my old project. It will take awhile to get my head back into it, so I don’t want to start to get pulled back off.

I have used the time productively. Learning Final Cut Express and preparing for my TV show.

I’d say I spend about 20% of my time doing what I do best. Of course I like to think I spend some time doing the best thing, even if I do it poorly.

In general do you agree with the 80/20 principle? What activities in your life to you consider wasted time? What keeps you from using that time in more meaningful ways?

I like to fight against the idea, but it just keeps coming up. At our last church there were people I called 20 percenters. I actually didn’t want to be one of them, but eventually I was. The problem is what the church thought was the important 20% wasn’t. So spending your 80% energy on a 20% project is frustrating.

Most of my wasted time is on TV. The only times it is a waste is when I’m trying to learn stuff, when it is quality, and when I’m spending time with the Mrs doing it. Surfing the web is also a big distraction.

It is hard for me to do something if I don’t see how it can be done in my head. So I sometimes don’t do meaningful things because I can’t see how they will be done. I can always see how TV should be done, and everything I surf on the net seem important when I click it.

How would you describe your current season of life?

Finishing the raising of my children and preparing to have an empty nest. I’m in the home stretch with the boys. I now need to teach them to be adults. On Monday they got their drivers permits. One is already going to college, and we were almost late this morning because I didn’t check to see if he was out of bed till it was time to leave.

Keep a time journal this week.

I’m not really sure how to do this, though I’m sure it would give me valuable insight into what I’m doing with my time.