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Hey guys, I'm a lurker here, but I need some advice on managing my time. I'll quickly explain my situation.

I'm gonna start working on my college thesis soon and I want to finish it as soon as possible. I recently stopped my half time job so I could give full focus to this, but since then I've lost motivation because of no clear goals and no schedule to follow. Right know I just have to read about my thesis topic and go to my university to seek advice from some teachers, but I procastinate those activities. I'm stuck on the Ni Fi Loop right now. Sometimes I get out of it and become productive for a few days, but then fall back again. It's like 3-4 days a week I'm productive and 3-4 days I do nothing at all, just spend the day at home escaping reality.

I'm confident that as soon as the thesis officially starts I'll have no problem working on it. But I don't want it to take all of my time because I know it will stress me out and I'll fall on the Ni Fi Loop again. It has happen before.

So I'm thinking about working on my hobby everyday to keep me motivated. I want to get better at drawing, this is a long termn goal, in 10 years I want to have enough skill to become an illustrator at least half time. So working everyday sounds like a good idea, I'm thinking I could feel more motivated to work on my thesis during the day if I knew I had a couple of hours left at night to draw. I have to be very disciplined with this though, because my love for my hobby could consume my time and affect my thesis. I'm thinking giving myself no more than 2 hours each day for this.

Another thing I want to do everyday or every two days is exercising (between 40-90 mins, cardio or weightlifting). I've been neglecting my health which I usually do when I get overwhelmed by work... and I know it's very probable for it to happen again. And sometimes when I'm doing fine in my studies or at work I set up an exercise schedule, but I keep at it for 2 weeks tops and stop working out for 2 months or so... I want to be consistent with this too.

And the final thing I want to manage is random chores. Like cleaning, doing the dishes, laudry, buy groceries etc (I live alone). Sometimes I have to go out and go to some goverment offices to get a few things done, this things don't have a schedule also, so I end up neglecting them too, but it would be nice to get them done early.

FYI I don't go out much but I'm not completely isolated. I see my friends and family like 2 days a week.

So, any helpful tips on time management?

  • Do you have a hobby you really love and setting a specific time to work on it each day has help you get other things done? Do you preffer working on it early or at the end of the day? or maybe setting the weekends for it works best for you? Has your passion for your hobby endangered your job?
  • What's the best time to exercise for you? Do you feel more energized during the day if you do it first thing in the morning? or not and therefore you preffer to leave it for the end of the day, when your job/studying/important things are done?
  • Any tip on getting random chores done is welcome too.
 

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Sounds like you're already in the process of hammering out a regimen and really don't need as much advice as you might believe, but alright... I used to write down what to do every day of the week and stick to it. Now it's fairly automatic. If you think better at night, work on your thesis then. For that time of day when you usually feel slouchy, that's the time to hit the gym. Schedule hobbies and chores around those.
 

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I think I heard some excitable, frenzied types talking about something called whiteboards somewhere. :smile:

They're good -- real good -- but for extra task-specific forward-thinking proactive synergy, you should include, ad hoc, blank posterboards as well. And sharpies.

Also list every day, as above. I haven't outgrown it, and I'm old as shit: I just like it, keeping track of stuff. It's like if Rainman had a diary: 1 BVD, 2 Wapner, 1 K-Mart.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sounds like you're already in the process of hammering out a regimen and really don't need as much advice as you might believe
Well, I've been making list, schedules and written plans since at least 7 years. And always believed I was going to stick to them, but after a while I forget about them and focus all my energy on what's most important, neglecting everything else. I think the main problem here is discipline.

Anyway I'm gonna try working out whenever I feel more slouchy, I just have to push myself to do it without overthinking it.
 

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Well, I've been making list, schedules and written plans since at least 7 years. And always believed I was going to stick to them, but after a while I forget about them and focus all my energy on what's most important, neglecting everything else. I think the main problem here is discipline.
It's normal that the schedule will need readjusting with priorities reassessed every so often as these 'most important' items come up. There is an entry in the 'books I'm qualified to write' thread titled The Discipline of Delayed Satisfaction. As a thinker, it might be incredibly satisfying to solve or improve some ancillary issue at the moment. The activity may look and feel somewhat like 'work' (the illusion of productivity). But it's still a distraction and should be delayed until your high priority items are complete.

Anyway I'm gonna try working out whenever I feel more slouchy, I just have to push myself to do it without overthinking it.
Good idea. I prefer not to think to much at all before working out. No opportunities for 'don't wanna' to pop up.
 

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@jtour

Well, I've used something like whiteboards (i think) for some school projects. It's called Scrum or also Kanban board. But this is more for a project methodology. For this I'll go with whatever my tutor suggests.

I am also tyred of lists because I've done it a thousand times and they work for a while but I always stop doing them. Still, when I used them they worked, so I'm gonna start doing them again. The problem weren't the lists but my consistency and discipline wih them.
 

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It's normal that the schedule will need readjusting with priorities reassessed every so often
Oh yeah, this is so true! I've always taken a fixed approach to my schedules and plans. Besides discipline this has been another cause of my downfalls. I need a flexible approach. Maybe be very strict with what I plan for the current day and if I see any problems I'll take that in mind for the next day.

As a thinker, it might be incredibly satisfying to solve or improve some ancillary issue at the moment. The activity may look and feel somewhat like 'work' (the illusion of productivity). But it's still a distraction and should be delayed until your high priority items are complete.
This is true as well. I'll keep it in mind!
 

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If you find a solution please tell me. I have the same issues, and also default to "must be a lack of discipline" and then Ni Fi loop all over the place. I suspect for you and for me that it is more like extremely high expectations of how efficient we can be and still be human.
 

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Yeah, well, Pixelado and Squirt both seem to have been doing what I'm very familiar with.

Fortunately, I'm a big Beckett fan, so trying failing failing again trying harder is pretty good.

Here's a couple of nuggets of crap that I like to do:

(1) You can use lists in multiple directions, to keep track of both accomplishments and directives for each day.
(2) You can subdivide each goal into specific subsections: this is helpful for studying but also just generally getting something done.

(2a) I'll give an example from the way a musician would approach a piece of music. Let's take the Toccata from the E minor keyboard Partita of Bach, which I choose because it contains one of Bach's longest fugues, and it never hurts to use something actual as an example instead of some toy.

Actually, I've already said elsewhere I'm against doing shit for free, and it happens I'm having some memory problems with this one, so it can help me too.

OK, this isn't going to work in detail, but the idea is out of the 62 bars of the fugue (by my count), a successful approach is mindful of two basic qualities

(2a)
(i)
identifying the basic unit which you find is reasonable to master in a short period of time. Say 20 minutes for the sake of argument. Pretend that is, I don't know, two bars or four bars of music (it will depend on where it makes sense to divide).
(ii)
selecting for each day an appropriate amount of NONLINEAR, DISCRETE elements from (2a-i) to handle
(2b)
Divide each week (or assigned period given to you) into days devoted to each element from (2a-i&ii), keeping in mind that there should be a certain amount of overlap, variation of segment length, and lengthening of segment length, which can vary according to the project.
(3) In this way, I find, it is possible to artificially create a "multitasking" simulation. Namely, it is in the repetition of short, discrete, nonlinear tasks, their progressive repetition and reorganization into a final form, and the variation of material.

Yeah, well, you asked anyway. It isn't Shakespeare, but I fucking think the English can go to hell, and Shakespeare can suck my wang. Molière, Le misanthrope, is where it's at. Premiered 1666.
 

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Yeah, well, Pixelado and Squirt both seem to have been doing what I'm very familiar with.

Fortunately, I'm a big Beckett fan, so trying failing failing again trying harder is pretty good.

Here's a couple of nuggets of crap that I like to do:

(1) You can use lists in multiple directions, to keep track of both accomplishments and directives for each day.
(2) You can subdivide each goal into specific subsections: this is helpful for studying but also just generally getting something done.


(2a) I'll give an example from the way a musician would approach a piece of music. Let's take the Toccata from the E minor keyboard Partita of Bach, which I choose because it contains one of Bach's longest fugues, and it never hurts to use something actual as an example instead of some toy.

Actually, I've already said elsewhere I'm against doing shit for free, and it happens I'm having some memory problems with this one, so it can help me too.

OK, this isn't going to work in detail, but the idea is out of the 62 bars of the fugue (by my count), a successful approach is mindful of two basic qualities

(2a)
(i)
identifying the basic unit which you find is reasonable to master in a short period of time. Say 20 minutes for the sake of argument. Pretend that is, I don't know, two bars or four bars of music (it will depend on where it makes sense to divide).
(ii)
selecting for each day an appropriate amount of NONLINEAR, DISCRETE elements from (2a-i) to handle
(2b)
Divide each week (or assigned period given to you) into days devoted to each element from (2a-i&ii), keeping in mind that there should be a certain amount of overlap, variation of segment length, and lengthening of segment length, which can vary according to the project.
(3) In this way, I find, it is possible to artificially create a "multitasking" simulation. Namely, it is in the repetition of short, discrete, nonlinear tasks, their progressive repetition and reorganization into a final form, and the variation of material.

Yeah, well, you asked anyway. It isn't Shakespeare, but I fucking think the English can go to hell, and Shakespeare can suck my wang. Molière, Le misanthrope, is where it's at. Premiered 1666.
I like it. It particularly appeals to Te processing - however the non-linear, varied structure leaves room for Ni. Very nice.
 

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I like it. It particularly appeals to Te processing - however the non-linear, varied structure leaves room for Ni. Very nice.
Well, it's not of my own design entirely; the basic ideas of using non-linear segments (it makes sense for music, but I'm sure there's a way to apply it to other jobs) are to (a) balance the passages that need most technical work with easier ones (b) not get locked into a kind of "must play it from the beginning only" (c) some "research" of doubtful truth or origin about effective ways to memorize complex material.

The real context I'm drawing this from, and the reason I started to use a musical piece as an example (and quickly sort of abandoned, because, I don't know, I forgot or something) comes from asking yourself: "How is it possible that a concert musician has not only acquired but keeps in active memory a large repertoire, to which is constantly being added new pieces?" I don't think anybody would say, "well, you start with one piece, and then go on to the next." Maybe as a student, but a more structured approach, almost ruthless, is needed. I don't have any surveys or anything to back that up, it's just my impression.

So, combining those two little ideas of dubious validity, it's how I pretend I'm able to multitask, when in fact I can't read or fuck when music is playing, and can't even text innocuous messages when I have a movie playing in the corner of a computer screen.
 

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Well, it's not of my own design entirely; the basic ideas of using non-linear segments (it makes sense for music, but I'm sure there's a way to apply it to other jobs) are to (a) balance the passages that need most technical work with easier ones (b) not get locked into a kind of "must play it from the beginning only" (c) some "research" of doubtful truth or origin about effective ways to memorize complex material.

The real context I'm drawing this from, and the reason I started to use a musical piece as an example (and quickly sort of abandoned, because, I don't know, I forgot or something) comes from asking yourself: "How is it possible that a concert musician has not only acquired but keeps in active memory a large repertoire, to which is constantly being added new pieces?" I don't think anybody would say, "well, you start with one piece, and then go on to the next." Maybe as a student, but a more structured approach, almost ruthless, is needed. I don't have any surveys or anything to back that up, it's just my impression.

So, combining those two little ideas of dubious validity, it's how I pretend I'm able to multitask, when in fact I can't read or fuck when music is playing, and can't even text innocuous messages when I have a movie playing in the corner of a computer screen.
I'll give an example from drawing, then. At least, I think these are similar. I tried to draw a plant; or rather, study how to draw a particular plant. This was the structural, segmental process of familiarizing myself with the task.

Broken down into non-linear units of light/shadow, flowers, leaves, orientation of leaves to flowers.

 






Make sense? Maybe not, haha.

Anyway, it follows to me to bring that kind of structure into how to handle multiple types of activities through a day or week - not necessarily multi-tasking, but breaking up segments in a way that allows "switching" to occur without losing sight or interest of the overall trend. Sometimes it's not really an energy or time problem as much as it is a mental block due to hyper-focusing.
 

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breaking up segments in a way that allows "switching" to occur without losing sight or interest of the overall trend.
I don't really have a comment, except that I wanted to note that this is a way of phrasing what I think is what we're all talking about in a particularly nice way.

So, I don't know, like it should be repeated, or something.

ETA @Squirt I looked at your examples. Thanks for that -- I'm not a art guy, but I feel like being nice to fun people so favorite plastic artist, E ric W ert,on FB, probably might be interesting to check out, since, I don't know, retards of a feather. Za ck K ir cher, a friend among many continents and of family is also good.
 

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To be honest I find it difficult to focus on two subjects at the same time and switch between them. My mind mainly knows two modes: "completely obsessed with a topic" and "indifferent to a topic" and it's difficult to be obsessed with two things at the same time.

So I wouldn't plan to work on my thesis and pick up a hobby at the same time - I would be afraid that I will fall in love with the hobby to the extent that makes writing my thesis completely boring in comparison. Actually I currently work full-time and need to quickly write a thesis in the evening and I'm totally uneasy about how I will accomplish that.

Workout is different as it's not an intellectual activity and actually there's a lot of research that confirms a positive influence of working out on thinking.

But people are different of course.
 

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Do you have a hobby you really love and setting a specific time to work on it each day has help you get other things done? Do you preffer working on it early or at the end of the day? or maybe setting the weekends for it works best for you? Has your passion for your hobby endangered your job?
[*]
No but I probably should..I actually tend to neglect hobbies in favor of work I have to get done.
One thing that helps me with hobbies is having a structure around that as well, for example I recently purchased on online guitar course as a refresher/to solidify my skills. That way I am motivated because there's a clearer trajectory of progress, as opposed to just feeling like I'm fooling around with no real direction (which I find demotivating for pretty much anything).

What's the best time to exercise for you? Do you feel more energized during the day if you do it first thing in the morning? or not and therefore you preffer to leave it for the end of the day, when your job/studying/important things are done?
Evening is the best time for me for pretty much everything aside from drinking coffee. :tongue: I don't feel energized in the morning from doing things -- probably the opposite if anything. I'm not a morning person. It'd take me longer to get less done. The optimal time to work out is between meals, or one hour+ after a meal, so that's something to consider as well.

Edit: and yeah I also don't like having to exercise while thinking about everything else I have going on that day.

Any tip on getting random chores done is welcome too.
Bigger stuff you need to plan ahead and set aside the time. Smaller stuff or something like shopping I tend to go more buy need than following a specific schedule, since it falls into a fairly regular pattern anyway. I've developed a schedule by default for some things, like replacing things on certain days when I'm near a specific store on a weekly/biweekly basis, for example.

For chores/general to-dos and work things, I rely pretty heavily on my cell phone's calendar so that I can control when and how often it reminds me, and I can think ahead how much time I need to set aside based on whatever else is on my schedule, etc. Basically that's my to-do list. I tend to not use actual "lists" or memos (including apps) so much, because I prefer having the timeline on it and having everything integrated.
 
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To be honest I find it difficult to focus on two subjects at the same time and switch between them. My mind mainly knows two modes: "completely obsessed with a topic" and "indifferent to a topic" and it's difficult to be obsessed with two things at the same time.
Right. I think the entire idea behind my strategy and others above is that we recognize our limitations, and try to optimize our performance such that we get full flavor, in the big country, without the annoying side effects of a xenomorphic trailer.

Well, it usually works OK, but then again, sometimes you get a psychotic asshole like me who doesn't eat for two days and drains a fifth of whiskey because it seemed like a good idea.

und dennoch it begins again another week.

Actually I currently work full-time and need to quickly write a thesis in the evening and I'm totally uneasy about how I will accomplish that.
i'd be interested to know how you manage that as well. I don't think it is possible to prepare acceptable research while pursuing a career outside of teaching and research.

Occasionally you'll hear of somebody who worked his or her way through law school in some private-sector job, but that's extremely rare.

For undergraduates, of course, that's much more common, but then again, undergraduates are generally chalking up prerequisites, in technical fields, or preparing for graduate school, in intellectual fields.
 

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Right. I think the entire idea behind my strategy and others above is that we recognize our limitations, and try to optimize our performance such that we get full flavor, in the big country, without the annoying side effects of a xenomorphic trailer.

Well, it usually works OK, but then again, sometimes you get a psychotic asshole like me who doesn't eat for two days and drains a fifth of whiskey because it seemed like a good idea.

und dennoch it begins again another week.



i'd be interested to know how you manage that as well. I don't think it is possible to prepare acceptable research while pursuing a career outside of teaching and research.

Occasionally you'll hear of somebody who worked his or her way through law school in some private-sector job, but that's extremely rare.

For undergraduates, of course, that's much more common, but then again, undergraduates are generally chalking up prerequisites, in technical fields, or preparing for graduate school, in intellectual fields.
I dropped classes that really interested me because I couldn't fit them into my program and also devote the time I wanted to them. I believe other types would be fine skimming over non-mandatory courses, but like Traveller explains it is either full tilt or nada. We seem to view this as a flaw to be overcome because we also seem to have diverse interests and the capability to be jack-of-all-trades. It creates such a push and pull. Hearing others' experience with this is making me feel less insane, haha.
 

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Well, I always considered it a flaw of North American culture.

Want to learn [to yoga, to fire a rifle, eat a vegan baby] "take a class!"

Bullshit. That's hillbilly Gomer Pyle bullshit. Go see the fucking oracle and eat a cookie. Ridiculous.

Learn it or don't. If you live in a place without mature research institutions then you will need to leave, or learn to become dependent on interlibrary loan offerings, and suffer the shame of having to consult the few pathetic local shamans who acquired some abilities elsewhere.

ETA you should write your thesis, though. I don't know you, but I think that should go for anyone. Finish it. If you've started, you probably know what you want to say, so, I don't know, just get it done with. Something about marginal utility or something, I don't know

EETA looking back a few hours later, I just wanted to say that I agree with myself. Finish the fucking thesis. It's not really possible to look into your own future, but I regret not having the insight to just write my own fucking doctoral dissertation -- I thought at the time I'd give myself two months to type it up, it's there, I have the research and the mentors, but you let your life get in the way because you don't understand feeling. It may not seem important now, but there are some boxes you have to check in order to make things easier for future self. That sounds retarded, but some shit you just have to do. I thought I was the fucking king of the world, but ten, fifteen years later it doesn't matter. Get the fucking merit badge -- it might sting a bit, but it's just pride fucking with you.
 

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I dropped classes that really interested me because I couldn't fit them into my program and also devote the time I wanted to them. I believe other types would be fine skimming over non-mandatory courses, but like Traveller explains it is either full tilt or nada. We seem to view this as a flaw to be overcome because we also seem to have diverse interests and the capability to be jack-of-all-trades. It creates such a push and pull. Hearing others' experience with this is making me feel less insane, haha.
Well, I don't know, it sounds like you're at loggerheads with general UG BS. No, you're not at all insane. I can only say that the best students I had as a TA were people who had some kind of insane drive. The forty-year old freshman composition undergraduate student with the impeccable, beautiful handwriting who managed, somehow, to work with me, when I was twenty-four and teaching the class. The fat kid who wrote about learning judo or some shit to get over his troubles with bullies. The frighteningly precocious kid who was at a service academy and somehow ended up at podunk U.

I remember every single one of them, and I guarantee you even if a lot of stuff is taught by TAs, there's plenty there.

That is an official Public Service Announcement.

Goddamn I'm fucking old, but fuck you, write the damned paper. Shit!
 
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