On The Side | Blog

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On The Side | Blog

On The Side | Image by Karolina Grabowska

While lots of my time is spend towards classes or the obligations of day-to-day life, I do like to take time to focus on other things I’m passionate about. Whether I’m practicing creative writing or working on a project for my career, I try as much as I can to be doing something productive during the chances I get to rest.  

Sometimes, though, this is easier said than done. It’s easy to get distracted, especially when the task is daunting – sometimes with massive amounts of energy needed and distant or small payoff in the short-term – making it easy to halt progress “for the time being” and leave the work unfinished, like an abandoned, forgotten site sitting tucked away in seclusion. I have several of these, various files on my computer or applications of things that I spent hours planning and ready to tackle…until it became time to start.  

External distractions, too, can inevitably get in the way…requiring all the work to be abruptly halted to deal with tasks or troubles at hand. It’s like wanting to drive somewhere and getting a flat tire. These surprises too, have led to me accumulating a fair share of unfinished works, as real-life drains both the time and energy that would otherwise be devoted to getting these things done. The opposite is true as well. Sometimes, I can get so lost in something I’ve spent hours on that suddenly all conscience is removed. A state of flow that cuts into normal, needed dates and obligations. This, inevitably, leads to more stress and nothing getting done at all. 

How does one deal with this? How came someone find time to devote to a passion or creative project, while balancing real life’s both foreseen and unexpected hurdles?  Organizing.  

Categorizing different tasks is a good way to add structure, which can help prevent burnout or stave off stressful situations. Different apps and websites exist that can help people start, whether it be a time-blocker or a simple calendar. Because no one is the same, there won’t be a one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone will have strategies that work better than others or excel better at one method of time-management than another. But the act of getting into a routine can give you the space you need to work towards your big project, big class assignment, or whatever you’re trying to complete. 

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