Last night at work, tired and harbouring a pestering headache, I came across the transcript of a TED talk on time management. Now, I have a healthy (I think) skepticism of TED’s glossy demonstrations of positivity (not to disparage the good work they ultimately do.) This one, though, had me smiling (on the inside, of course).
The marrow of the thing was simple, really. If we’d like to spend more time doing the things we love, we need to treat them as priorities on the same level as, say, repairing the fridge.
Now, I’m sure many reading or hearing this would smile a little emptily and think, ‘Sure, sounds about right.’ Leading a happy life always sounds as easy as a five year old’s spelling test, when the experts talk about it; just go through the motions and it’ll happen. But of course, we’re making a real oversight when we think this – an oversight which inevitably leads to disappointment, failure, frustration and then complacency, until the next TED speaker skips into our lives and sends the wheel spinning all over again.
I think I’ve said this before below, but perhaps it can’t be emphasised enough: we need to be assertive with our time, because it might just be that we’ve all been deceived – weekends and evenings spent doing the things we love, or Friday afternoons filled with those satisfied, ‘I’m happy with my life’ sighs don’t just happen. We make them. We prioritise them.
I often feel that, when considering what I want to do with my time, I am automatically plunged into a grey, formless but somehow potent sea of ‘buts’ and ‘maybe laters’. Writing can help unravel this stubborn knot – it documents thoughts and clears the head. Therefore, in the optimistic spirit of that unexpected TED talk, my future posts will finish with three activities or objectives I am determined to meet, before the following post (where practical). It’s strange – even the simplest task can become imperative, once it’s written in front of you. At least, that’s the hope…
|Complete some transcribing on Smithsonian||Complete copyright readings (for MA)|
|Finish ‘The Golden Bowl’ by Sunday||Complete Cambridge job application|
|Write two pages of prose OR two poems||Make a career map|
Idea for next time:
– Research volunteering opportunities (Professional)