"...if only you could perceive time as I do. Please let me show you."
- Dr Manhattan, Watchmen
After my work day, it is not uncommon for me to sit around at the hospital for hours before going home. Despite this type of perceived time waste, I am efficient. If I would be doing the same thing at home as I am at work, what difference does my location make? It's just a matter of time valuation and how you think about it.
The simple and practical way to think about time is by dividing it into 'work time' and 'leisure time'. It is a tempting fallacy to think about all time spent at work aswork time and all time spent at home to be inherently better. But by accepting such a premise, we buy in to learned helplessness and are often displeased with how much time we spend at work.
The real definition of work and leisure time isn't where you are, but what you are doing. It is imperative to adopt this perspective because it allows conversion of work time to leisure time, and unfortunately vice versa.
If I needed to research and buy a new bicycle, for example, I could do this at home or at work. By doing it at work during my down time, I convert work time to home time and effectively increase my home time while decreasing my work time.
Conversely, if I needed to read a research paper for journal club, I could do this at either home or work as well. In effect, I could convert leisure time to work time if I were not careful.
Time management skills are literally 'lifesaving' if you employ this worldview and cannot be emphasized enough.
Feel free to share any of your time management tips in the comments!
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