One thing you learn very quickly when pursuing a creative skill—or any skill for that matter—is it takes more time than you think it does.
A skill isn’t just the skill itself, it’s also everything around it.
Let’s say you’ve grown up on boxed foods your entire life, and one day you decide you want to learn to cook. Great! Cooking is a useful skill to have. Not only can home-cooked food be better for you and taste 10x better than 80% of restaurants and 99% of packaged foods, but you’ll also be able to share with other people who are in your life. (Food gatherings = closer family, more connected community.)
But wait, there’s more to cooking than the time it takes to crack a few eggs in a pan and call it dinner (although, some nights are like that). Cooking is multiple things combined:
Research: What do I want to cook? How do I cook it? What do I cook it with? How long?
Experimentation: What if I tried paprika? What type of acid flavor do I want to use? What happens if…
Pick up: Getting to the store, Playing where’s Waldo with each grocery item, waiting in line (or waiting for your delivery, Going home from the store
Prep: Washing, Chopping, Dicing, Salting, etc
Cooking: Getting the oven ready, watching the food cook
Eating: Take your time, don’t wolf it down like an animal
Cleaning: Dishes, Leftovers in the fridge
All of this is worth the price of admission, but as you can see, it’s going to take a lot longer than you think it might. (You can see why meal prep, food delivery, and dinner delivery companies are killing it.)
And it’s not just cooking that requires a lot of time to do it properly. Every skill requires time. There’s a hidden cost to every skill (and everything we do).
This is why the majority of Renaissance people are terrible at managing their time.
I’m bad at this. When I hear about some rad interesting skill I want to jump in immediately and learn it. Now, there’s a time for trying new things and expanding your skill sets, but if you want to master something, you’ve got to prioritize it by giving it your most valuable resource: time.
Time management is essential to finding mastery and living a meaningful life.
This means we have to be picky about where and to who we give our time too.
The best place to start is to figure out where all your time is going.
Dig around in your iPhone or Android phone settings and you’ll find screen time averages.
I’ve also personally been thoroughly using my calendar app to track every minute of my day, so I know how much time I’m spending doing what.
Not knowing where your time is going is letting life steer you, versus you controlling life.
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1811
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