To an extent, we are as time poor as we let ourselves be. If we want to make time for something there is usually a way we can accomplish it. Sometimes this will involve sacrifice. Sacrifice of time, money, social interaction, reserves of physical, spiritual, mental, or emotional energy, to allow for something else.
Last night I made a conscious decision to continue writing the piece of fantasy I was working on after the time it would have been wise to go to bed. I was on a roll, ideas blossoming and evolving into, what I think is, a fairly coherent story. Earlier in the day I had organised to be up at 5.45am to watch the NFL with my flatmate and make pancakes for the both of us. This resulted in me getting roughly four hours sleep, eating a wonderful breakfast, and needing to jet out the door to make it in time for the fortnightly team meeting at work. I sacrificed sleep hours to continue engaging in creative endeavours.
Now, I am in no way saying getting the amount of sleep I did was a healthy choice, or a course of action I would recommend, at least not most of the timea. What I am saying is I consciously chose to sacrifice one for the other. An everyday example of this is constantly using our phone or computer instead of something else. While walking, while on public transport, while at home, at our jobs, while travelling – it is possible to use these technologies for almost everything. Depending on what we are using them for, these all involve a form of sacrifice. Of time available for social interaction or creative endeavours, of motivation to break ourselves away from the screen to get some sunshine or physical exercise, of engagement with the world around us. In some situations this is driven by necessity. Our work may require us to use a computer to complete it. Friends and family may live in different cities and countries requiring a phone or computer for ease of communication. Resetting our minds from difficult situations may be easier for us while watching videos or listening to music. These are all decisions we make, and also involve a form of sacrifice.
The issue with computer and phone use arises when it becomes the way we spend the majority of our time. When we find ourselves automatically sitting on the couch or the bed and Mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or YouTube, playing video games for hours on end in lieu of going out with friends, watching TV instead of attending to our house’s wellbeing. The same could be done by reading books all the time. Or spending all our time at the gym. Or working an exceptionally high number of hours each day. It all comes down to acknowledging how we are spending our time, and being ok with that or not being ok with it and making the effort to change.
We all have hopes and dreams, most of which are achievable with hard work, effective communication with ourselves and others, and pushing through difficult days. We do this not by trying to always stay positive and be happy, but by doing what we have the energy to do when we can.
At the moment I have four projects on the go. First, and almost complete, it’s to publish and deliver a short story I’ve been writing over the past year. The second is to record, mix, and master my first three track EP. Hopefully the first of many recordings. Both of these projects are for people who helped support me in competing at the World Ultimate Club Championships last year. The third is continuing to write the two fantasy books I’ve been working on over the past two years. My fourth project is to read through the whole bible, working through The Bible Project’s reading plan and videos. When I am not at work, playing ultimate, writing this blog, catching up with friends, or resting, these are the things I spend most of my time doing. I am actively reducing the amount of time I spend which does not help me complete these projects.
(When I use the word “project” here I mean working towards something that requires a combination of mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and physical energy to produce something that is life giving to you. Projects often have them, but they need not be working towards a tangible end product.)
What are your current personal projects? What are some things you are really enjoying spending time on at the moment?