Do you struggle with managing your time? On any given day, there are children to help prepare for school, jobs to get to by 9:00 AM, exercise routines to complete, and a host of unexpected factors that make it difficult to control your time. You, me, we, every human, has challenges with holding the clock’s hands and handling everything.
In the book, The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer by Steven Kotler he shares the importance of reserving 90 – 120 minutes of daily non-time. Non-time is the point in your day when no one or thing interferes with your ability to concentrate. For example, your peak performance time may happen between 4:00 AM and 5:30 AM or at night from 9:30 PM to 11:30 PM.
Non-time is when the phone is away, and you can dial into the essential tasks of your day. Create routines that support productive habits and make a to-do- list for everything else.
I enjoy the early morning hours. With some variations in order, I start every day with writing, working out, meditating, or praying before 5:00 AM. In the evenings, my energy stores expire, and I only want to sleep after dinner. I get my best rest when I’ve made significant progress on my major projects, exercised, and spent mindful time with the family.
Your prime hours may be in the evening. When the sun descends, you get a rush of energy to exercise, do your work, and prepare for the next day. If this sounds like you, use it to your advantage and structure your day to support activities that challenge and bring you joy at night.
In my work as a professor, I often advise students who struggle with time management. They must attend lectures, participate in small group sessions, read textbook assignments, answer multiple choice questions, and get in bed before midnight. The medical school curriculum is vast and demands time to foster comprehension and application.
On an island surrounded by a hypnotizing sea, some students wait at the shoreline of potential, get lost in the sand, and fail to focus. Attending medical school on a Caribbean island is not easy.
The university strives to provide students from underserved communities the opportunity to earn a medical degree. They admit students to change the faces of medicine. Before enrolling, some of our students did just enough to pass their classes, others exceeded their teacher’s expectations, and many found academic success despite dire circumstances. Unfortunately, regardless of their preparation, most students experience at least one lapse in judgment with prioritizing academic requirements and social requests.
Disciplined individuals with detailed written study schedules or daily to-do lists empower their selves to recover quicker than others that “go with the flow.” The latter group often gets carried away in a current of circumstances.
What can you gain from these observations? Use self-awareness about your peak performance times and do your best to control that aspect of your day.
Identify your priorities and make non-time to support progress.
Learning about every detail of the January 6th hearings may not be a good use of your time. However, if you have legal obligations related to the case or your work requires familiarity with the latest developments, dedicate a portion of your day to making observations. Otherwise, please do not investigate the backgrounds of every member of the Oath Keepers.
Getting familiar with every facet of white supremacist organizations will only frustrate and block creativity. If your life’s purpose is to infiltrate hate groups, then please use your time to research, inform, and organize.
Today, write a list of your goals. Then, cross off anything that is not essential to your health, relationships, and work. You may lose some friends with this new approach to life, but tomorrow you will receive the gift of time to do more things that give your life meaning.
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