Lost and Damned: Recognising time sinks

Hey all,

In this post I’ll talk about the stuff from last fortnight or whenever which I was going to yammer on about but decided to address other things. Moving on >.>

Sadly, the neurological thrill ride that is making time management a reality (You can do it, go you!) will have to go back to the monthly schedule as my haematology subject is already starting to overwhelm (PDF was killed to a man). Tragic really, as it’s almost week three and the textbook won’t get here until April. -_- Fat lot of good that does me in the here and now, but eh. LOGISTICS people.

This photo may have been edited

Sadly I feel a tad lost with the haematology study as linking what’s seen under the slide to patient presentation and FBC results is sorta difficult. I’d also say one of those leucocytes looks quite smashing but anyhow, time management.

What I wanted to talk about was how to recognise time sinks- the unavoidable bits of time you lose throughout the day (i.e. travel).

Time sinks are activities that consume a large portion of your time daily. Sleep is one of them, but that’s rather essential. Work is another as we all need to earn money to buy food, clothing, bricks, death rays, plastic miniatures. Since we only have a meagre twenty-four hours in a day and up to around ten is used for sleep there’s hardly any real free time left to actually, y’know, do stuffs.

One of the time sinks we don’t necessarily think about is traveling time. We lose however many minutes from our days traveling to and from our places of employment. Making the most of this time sink can be tricky- usually we’re limited to listening to music/ reading books (if not driving) and other minor activities.

As a student who travels 45 mins by train 3/4 days in the uni week I use this time to zone out with music, escape with books (if there’s new reading material) or plan ol’ do some study on the way up. This time, while fixed has potential for time efficiency. Walking the 20mins from the station to the campus? Well, that’s another story but at least it counts as exercise.

Let’s use a real world example of a schedule with fixed timeslots:

See how much of the week is locked down and that time is unable to be
used for other purposes. Also worth noting are the gaps on some days:
these are semi-locked pieces of time in that the time can be utilised
for things but are limited in what you can actually do. A bit like
travel time, really. What this timetable doesn’t show is the weekend and
how it’s a huge clean slate for any and everything.

Now let’s fill in some of those gaps showing travel time and prospective time uses. If you’re gonna do something like this for yourself (which I recommend) do a rough guesstimate of how long certain tasks take you to do.

My uni timetable. Any copyright infringement is purely unintended, used for non-profitable reasons, etc.

Being a rough guideline as such- things can change (such as being sick, abducted by xenos and the rare cancellation of a lecture). Friday is a wild card here as many people have RDO’s or like me, no uni (yay), so feel free to make this semi-productive day (leave the afternoon free for alcohol, gaming, going out, movies, etc). Keep yourself open to changes and don’t rigidly follow all plans to the T.

Since the weekend is such an obvious space for hobby time, there are also hidden time sinks that can interfere with that, such as:

  • Housework
  • Children sporting events (if you have kids that do sports that require an open field)
  • Sleep ins (very important)
  • Helping spouses/kids with stuff
  • Other commitments (i.e. I don’t know what you do with your lives but I’m guessing stuff happens)
  • Organising the weekly cult meeting (those demons ain’t gonna summon themselves y’know)
It’s important to look your best in front of your fellow cult participants

Tangent: I hear the HoP is rolling out fashionable cultist robes in a variety of purple hues. Most are garish and the fabric is itchy but there’s plenty of give in the sleeves 😛

Continuing on with the weekend, don’t ever be afraid to ask for an hour or two to sit down and paint or do general hobby activities as everyone needs their own ‘me time’. Yes it sounds like some kind of euphemism for ‘working the shaft’ but I mean time spent by you, for you. This time is important as it allows for unwinding from stress and reality as it’s a no strings attached period of time. At least, in theory. Yell at people if they want you to do other stuffs during this time. The housework can wait as the world will not end if they’re done a little bit later.

I would also recommend getting a personal planner/diary time scheduler thing. Don’t use them personally but if you’ve got a hectic life, it does some good to write down plans and engagements and allows you to organise time a tad better. The trick with these is to remember to keep using it after the first two weeks.

On a side note (as I promised myself this) I’m gonna end by riffing on my management tutorial group.

Preface: For our assignments in this management elective we do individual assessment but link it back to a group created mock business. So naturally, you have to have a name and be able to ‘visualise’ the business. I got stuck with a bunch of first years, one of which is an asshat. Really, who the fuck wants “Mozza pizzeria” as the mock business name? I still maintain that Pizza Yurt was more than sufficient. Uncivilised swines. Oh yes, let’s let the first year accounting student with a fucking macbook decide the name. What they need is a good Mongol horde invasion up the anal canal (actual body location). Also, I’m the only science student in the entire cohort for that course- So many incredulous looks- the pathology industry has managers and stuff.

That’s it for now, not too sure if I covered everything properly but hey that’s why there’s a comment section!


The Warlock

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