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Spare time - or lack thereof

Happy

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In this thread, I'd particularly like to hear from those of you who work long hours, have a lot of commitments, or for some other reason find yourselves in a deficit of time to yourself. But ultimately, I'd like to hear from anyone who can weigh in here, whether they have found some success in this or not.

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I've been struggling recently with the question of how best to use my spare time. Having moved interstate for work several months ago, I've been finding myself overworked and left with little free time.

From a career perspective, this is okay, because I love the work I do, and I'm exactly where I feel I need to be right now. So, it's not a question of being unhappy at work, but rather my problem lies in my time outside of work. Further, the issue is not in project management, but in time prioritisation.

Essentially, the problem is that I only have a very finite amount of time outside of work, but a myriad of things I want to be doing. Lately, it's left me feeling overwhelmed and, ultimately, powerless.

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I recognise that this is certainly not a dilemma unique to me, so I'd like to know:
  • How do you prioritise your spare time?
  • How have you succeeded (or failed) at making progress on personal projects?
  • What lessons have you learned that you can share?
  • Or just whatever useful input you have...
 

Turnevies

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Watching an NT at "play" is apt to be touching and a little sad when compared to the SPs abandon. The NT, knowing logically that recreation is necessary for health, schedules his play, and during the "playtime" taxes himself with improving his recreational skills. For example, when engaging in a card game, he must make no mistakes. At the bridge talbe, others may make mistakes, but the NT does not allow himself lapses of logic or strategic inaccuracies. In tennis, each set must be an occasion for the improvement of certain strokes or the elimination of previously-noted errors. The NT even demands of himself that he have a good time, since recreation is so defined.
Source: http://www.davidmarkley.com/personality/conceptualist.htm


So true... :rip:
 

Tannhauser

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I feel that when one works a lot, but the work is closely aligned with one's interests, there are a lot of opportunities to incorporate one's personal projects into one's work, or alternatively, the other way around – to base one's personal project on one's work. Not only is that a solution to the problem at hand, it is also a very pleasurable feeling when everything you do somehow aligns into a coherent story.

But in general, I don't really know what spare time means. If one has spare time, it seems to imply that something is consuming your time against your will. At work, I do the stuff I love to do, so the less spare time the better.
 

PmjPmj

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  • How do you prioritise your spare time? (1)
  • How have you succeeded (or failed) at making progress on personal projects? (2)
  • What lessons have you learned that you can share? (3)
  • Or just whatever useful input you have...

1: As a father of two very young children (two / ten months) I get very little spare time outside of work. I'm also the manager of a busy IT department, so that coupled with family life = massive deficit in energy at the end of the day. I find that I prioritise activities which allow my brain to switch off for 30 minutes or so before bed, be that watching House with the wife, healing a dungeon on WoW (yes, I went back to that recently - for shame!) or indulging in some light reading about the nature of reality (;p)

However

Because the wife is Spanish, she occasionally takes herself and the kids to Spain to be with her family. This happens in the school holidays (she works in education) which happen to be my busiest times (my 'site' is within education...) and so I more often than not get to stay home alone.

During these times, I prioritise anything which contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Sleep, eating well, exercising (I love 5am jogs over the fields near me) and when I can be arsed, meditation - but that's a hard one for me. The mind of an NT never wants to STFU, it seems. Apparently, you Ti users have this x100. I feel sorry for you.

But yeah. Do something good for your body or mind (preferably both) every day. Within 3-4 days, you'll start feeling the benefit. Energy levels will be up, mood will be enhanced and you'll be ready to tackle the world.

At weekends I like to visit new places. I'm the kind of guy who will (and does) get up at 4am and think "Fuck it! I'm heading <insert direction here>". I'll happily do over 500 miles in a day, just to get 'out and about'. I enjoy finding spots of solitude and beauty. I do my best thinking in such places.

A couple of months ago, I ended up at Glastonbury Abbey. It was incredibly tranquil.

2: Amphetamines. Not always at therapeutic doses. Ahem.

I need plans. Without plans, I procrastinate and end up hating myself with increasing intensity. End goal first. Where am I going; what is the desired outcome? From there, I work backwards. It's actually a fun process for me (sorry :p) but I understand that Ps tend not to work like this. Still, it certainly cannot harm you to have a rough idea of where you're going.

"Fail to plan and plan to fail", as they say. In my case, this is true.

Sticking to plans can be hard, because my Ni is as large as the moon and I just want to be left alone ;_; the world is very bothersome to me.

3: If you think you're busy now, wait until you have a family. Believe me. Use whatever free time you have productively. Never stop chipping away at any goals you have. Just keep on it and never let up. One day, you may find yourself in a situation where you have next to no free time, and no spare energy. Everything has to go on hold, and if you haven't manoeuvred yourself into a strong position beforehand, well... set sail for fail.

I was undertaking a degree (a decade too late - derp) which I had to put on hold. Like fuck I had the time to study at least 3 hours a day. By the time I'd done with work and family, I was lucky if I had any time. More often than not, it was a case of faceplanting into bed / rinse and repeat. Use your time very wisely. You won't always have it in abundance. I cannot possibly stress this enough. If you aren't actively working towards a goal, you're setting yourself up for a big fail later down the line. Never stop improving yourself. Never.

"Youth is wasted on the young".

I was blind, but now I see...


Yes. I enjoyed this. Very true.

I feel that when one works a lot, but the work is closely aligned with one's interests, there are a lot of opportunities to incorporate one's personal projects into one's work, or alternatively, the other way around – to base one's personal project on one's work. Not only is that a solution to the problem at hand, it is also a very pleasurable feeling when everything you do somehow aligns into a coherent story.

But in general, I don't really know what spare time means. If one has spare time, it seems to imply that something is consuming your time against your will. At work, I do the stuff I love to do, so the less spare time the better.

Follow your passion, basically.

True that.
 

Absurdity

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I feel that when one works a lot, but the work is closely aligned with one's interests, there are a lot of opportunities to incorporate one's personal projects into one's work, or alternatively, the other way around – to base one's personal project on one's work. Not only is that a solution to the problem at hand, it is also a very pleasurable feeling when everything you do somehow aligns into a coherent story.

But in general, I don't really know what spare time means. If one has spare time, it seems to imply that something is consuming your time against your will. At work, I do the stuff I love to do, so the less spare time the better.

Yeah this is pretty much how I feel. When I had a less satisfying job, and was also trying to juggle a relationship, I felt I didn't really have time to myself and would try to cram projects into the one day a week I had to myself (if I was lucky), but would be tired and then guilt trip myself for not doing what I had told myself I wanted to do and then be bummed out.

But now that my job doesn't suck (and I'm not in a relationship) it's easier and I mostly enjoy idleness on the weekend. Might go out and get drunk, see some friends, read a book. I think I might learn to code for fun.

Although I have also been reassessing my understanding of ambition, defined as a general lust or desire for achievement. I think it's just a disease and destined to lead you astray/result in your downfall/turn you into a tool for some other greater being's use.

So just have fun and be wu wei as a mofo until you die because everything is pointless and your pursuit of goals is like chasing after the wind.
 

davidintp

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I'm working long hours in inside sales and can tell you that this is one of the worst professions you could ever go into (slowly making the switch to IT). For introverted people anything that requires reaching out into the world, especially talking and arguing with people, depletes their energy quickly. At the end of the day you'll be DONE and need to recharge like a battery.

The one remedy that always works for me is staying in bed all day forcing myself to literally do nothing. No phone, no magazines, no internet, no TV, no talking to anyone. After several hours my muscles will tighten for a minute or two and my body and brain know finally that they can relax. The next day I'm usually 80% cured.

However, if you're married with kids and you have responsibilities you just don't have that time.

Still looking for feasible remedies.
 

EditorOne

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I'm retired, so all my time is "spare time." It's like every day is the first day of summer recess....

However, when I worked, I found that something different from work was the best choice for my limited time. Since my work was both mental and ephemeral (journalism) I focused on hands-on activity that produced a physical artifact, whether that was house addition, home renovations, boat building, etc. I enjoyed my work, but it was nice to see the fruits of my 'spare time' labor last for more than a day.

Building a skiff right now. I have a lifetime of tools and knowledge, a reasonable amount of money to spend on materials, and no need to rush. The process really is the point, this time.
 
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