Friday, 22 January 2016

How To Not Waste Time (no discipline required)

Ooh I haven’t written in so long. Hi guys!! *heart emoticon*

So the first month of 2016’s coming to an end so I just thought I’d write some things. For one, January this year felt a little different from previous years, because it’s the first time I didn’t have to start the year fretting about work (because I decided to take a break before I start my new job next month, which I am super excited about by the way).

But anyways, in the short period of rest that I took, God placed sufficient freelance opportunities in my hands, and as I worked on that + other personal projects, I learnt some really valuable stuff about time, because for the first time I could work without the stress of crazy deadlines.

So I just thought I’d write this list thing just as a public diary of these random valuables I gleaned, that have nothing to with the obvious ‘be disciplined and spend your time wisely’ advice, because if it was so easy to do that we'd all be ferociously winning at life right now, instead of being on the internet reading this.

(Note: This isn't a conventional list and is largely an opinion. But these are opinions that have been tried and tested by yours truly and proven rather effective. Results may vary for you but either way, I think I’m gonna be very helpful already okay because I’m pretty sure if you google ‘how not to waste time', all you’re gonna get are motivational articles abt how you should stop checking your emails so often or stop watching too much TV, which you’re gonna try and fail within 24 hours, and feel even worse about your existence.

So here it is:

HOW TO NOT WASTE TIME (no discipline required)

1) Spend time with Jesus.

If you don’t believe in a God or whatever, you can skip this, but I’m putting this first because personally I find it paramount to seizing the day.

Something happens when we tithe our time, and acknowledge that if we spend it with the Maker of time itself, we can assure the rest of it can be blessed.

You might think this takes discipline and I’m lying to you on the first step already, but I actually really enjoy this - whether it’s listening to a good sermon (ask me about my favourite ones), or just reading a few chapters of the bible (you can read it in the MSG version it’s a lot more exciting), it feeds my spirit in a way that lasts.

And the best part about this is that a lot of my best ideas come from hearing/reading The Word, when that wasn’t even my aim.

I feel like a lot of people have turned to TED talks and random inspiring talks to get their life together, but I realise they add no value whatsoever to your life, apart from that 10 second kick of motivation, and before you know it you'd have wasted your time by watching the video of that guy talking abt how not to waste time, cos you saw a cool related link and started to continue clicking.

No click baits in da bible. Give time to Jesus, it's worth it.

2) Be thankful.

Jesus gave thanks for the 5 loaves and 2 fish before feeding the 5000, and it multiplied.

Thank God for time when you don’t have any, and you’ll find it.

If I’m not wrong, ever since I turned 20, I would constantly feel “old”, when I really was/am not. And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one to have outgrown teenage-hood and started to feel like “OMG IM 20 I’M NO LONGER A CHILD yet I’ve done nothing with my life”. 99% of you must've gone through that too confirm.

But a couple years ago, when I had a revelation about the power of words, I just stopped saying that. I realize that’s one of the worst beliefs any young person could ever have about themselves. So many of us jeopardize the potential of our endeavours purely by the strength of our own destructive words.

And before we know it, we become old. Not in a physical sense, but in the sense where we lose the zeal of wanting to do something spontaneous, or crazy, or remotely risky with our lives.

And ever since I started to thank God for youth, instead of moping about being unaccomplished, doors opened for me and I started to do more. Quit the vicious of cycle of being unhappy about not having time, leading to even more time wasted. Be thankful (not just for time, but anything really. Like your job, people around you, etc), and you’ll have more.

3) Forgive.

A lot of people waste too much of their time getting mad at other people. We always have reasons to get mad.

Like at the girl at work spreading false rumours about you.
Or at the taxi uncle who took you to the wrong destination, then refused to charge you lesser for the detour.
Or at the old lady who messed up your maki-san take-away order and now you can’t eat the entire thing because you’re allergic to prawns. I don’t know.

(Ok I’m not allergic to prawns that was just a very specific hypothetical situation.)

But mostly I realize that waiting till the anger goes away always leads to a better use of time. Utilizing 1) & 2) helps.

4) Don't spend time on people who don't value time with you.

This might sound like a contradiction to the previous point, but it really isn’t. Pastor once said that forgiving a person doesn’t mean you have to be their best friend and I completely agree. (If you are a judgmental human please don’t argue with me on this, unless you can prove to me that every single person who has been a jerk to you magically all became your best friends)

It might sound harsh but seriously,

Don’t give pearls to swine. Don’t waste love on people who don’t appreciate it (unless it’s your job to or something I don't know.)

It doesn't mean to hold a grudge, it just means, to move on. Which actually aligns with forgiving, when you look at it this way.

Ok I think this is important to me because I really value my friendships, and I love keeping in contact with good friends I haven’t met in a long time, and I like it when an old friend asks me to hang out. And because this is a rather diverse topic and there are many appropriate situations to apply this, I'll just focus on something that really peeves me: BAILING.

Hate it when people do it to me, hate it when I have to do it to people. I’ve only bailed on a date at the last minute like, less than 10 times in my life? And it will always be for a really important reason, and I will feel really bad about it and immediately initiate a reschedule. So when people I haven’t seen in a while:

Bail last minute with no good reason
Bail repeatedly (>3 times in a row),

My time is clearly not valued. And if I'm not worth your time, neither are you worth mine, pal. Next.

5) Organise your life.

Again this appears to require discipline but it actually doesn’t when you realize how awesome it seriously makes your life.


Okay so while having a major room declutter over the past month, I realised what I'd been doing wrong for my whole life is that I used to pack things, not organize them. When i’d “pack” my things, they’d be neat for a week or so, until I can’t find something and I’ll flip everything over to find that thing. And then everything's a mess again.

Packing has zero thought process and never lasts, but when you actually organize things ie create folders, boxes, label them etc, you don't have to spend time searching for stuff anymore. And it’s not just because they’re categorized but because when you’re sorting them out in the first place, you think about what you don’t need anymore, so you throw away all the unnecessary junk that you have to otherwise sieve through in the future, had you decided to just pack it.

And oh yes plan your outfits if you're anything like me, i.e. your brain is unavailable in the morning.

6) Part with bad art.

Again, if this doesn't apply to you you can skip?

But this is a total creative person time-waster and it can be the worst thing ever. Fixing something messed up rarely works, so if you're at it for more than a day, sometimes you really just gotta make the painful decision of dropping it, and starting again from scratch.

The longer you spend on it, the more uneconomical it will be to redo it, so it's better to stop now than to stop 2 days later, when you could’ve been 2 days in on the new work.

I know it seems like precisely cos you spent a day on it, you shouldn't give up, but sometimes we just have to admit that some work we do is bad and unsalvageable. We're human and no one makes good art ALL the time. We can't never miss the mark.

Get rid of it and start again at the actual standard you want to be at, or if you don't love that project enough to redo it, just get rid of it period. And move on to something else. And do that better. Don't dwell over past work.

And last but not least, I don't know why I seem to be the only person in the world who does this...

7) Check rottentomatoes BEFORE you watch that movie.

Why don't people do this?

I don't get it. Don't bother if its anything below 30%.
(I say 30 cos I've watched something at 31% and I actually thought it was pretty good lol. And don't look at imdb because they can buy ratings.)

Art/entertainment can be subjective, but usually bad is bad.

If you couldn't care less about anything i wrote so far, please at least heed this last one. No one likes finishing a movie feeling like it was a total waste of 2 straight hours. At least not me.

But okay that's it. Yay feels good to be writing again. Hope you enjoyed reading this.
Excited to show you what I’ve been up to! Will do so soon. Lotsa ADVENTURESSSS okay bye love y'all.

P.S. Because I am too lazy to really announce on social media and what not, here's a last-minute announcement that my good friend Josh and I will be at Lasalle this weekend (23rd and 24th Jan) performing at the Gum Tree Flea Market from 12-2pm! Come down and say hi! They'll be giving out free truffle fries and who doesn't like truffle fries amirite it's like fries but atas version. Ok see you guys bye.