Intentional Time

“You can go slow. Allow your dreams and goals to change, but live an intentional life.”

Kumail Nanjiani, Comedian, actor, screenwriter, co-writer of The Big Sick

My dad recently surprise gifted me Cal Newport’s Time-Block Planner. The book is a whole lot nicer than it appears on Amazon and features a soft cover with an embossed grid on a deep-blue background and nice thick paper (I shouldn’t be surprised by the quality—it’s printed by Penguin Business / Penguin Random House.)

The Time-Block system is built around ”managing time instead of tasks” and originates all the way back to Benjamin Franklin. The idea is to be more intentional about your time by assigning (and reassigning if things change) blocks of time each day. This helps us not only focus on the important things we want to focus on but also highlight what’s eating our time.

I’d like to get a better handle on where I spend my time—not just productively but meaningfully.

My daily habits system has been super impactful on my life, and in the long run, will pay off through compounded effort. But I’d like to get better at spending my time wisely and finishing larger goals.

This year has been a very reactionary year for me, with the company I was working for closing due to the pandemic, scrambling to get some freelance clients, cultivating new and relevant skills, and other personal problems going on in my life. Things feel busy and crammed and it’s no Bueno.

I’m hoping that this is a good start to a clean slate of living intentionally and crafting the kind of lifestyle I want to live.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress and what I think of the Time-Block Planner as I start using it consistently.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1289

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices |  Bookaholics

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple PodcastRenaissance Life on Spotify

Live a Little (For Josh’s Sake) — Life Principle #18

Lately, I’ve been bad about being spontaneous. 

I️ think it’s the fact that I’ve been working so much this past year that any time remaining is incredibly precious to me. It’s ironic that I️ had to give up the majority of my time to work, to understand how precious time really is.

When someone asks me if I️ want to go hiking, grab some sushi, or whatever on the spot, I️ stammer and mumble out a no and lame excuse more often than not. It’s not that I️ don’t want to go hiking, it’s just that I️ already have a mental checklist of things I️ want to do (or have to do). My expectations of what I️ could be doing get in the way of what I️ am doing. It’s kind of a lose lose. I️ could get sushi, but I️ would also like to write. Or the other way around! Okay, I’ll say yes to sushi, but then be thinking about all the great writing I️ could be doing!

I️ don’t want to let others define what I️ do with my time. 

But I️ also don’t want to be a tightwad.

There’s a fine balance between making time for priorities and actually living a little. 

Which bring me to the next Renaissance Life Principle:

Life Principle #18: Live a Little (For Josh’s Sake)

It’s good to be responsible and intentional about our goals and habits, but don’t let I­t­ sideline you from actually living. Focusing on today is how you make tomorrow brighter, but take yourself too seriously and you’ll create the opposite result.

Being responsible shouldn’t also mean ‘Up your own butt’.

Take your shoes off and stay awhile. Learn to live in the hectic moments, and learn to enjoy the silent moments too.

The key to a meaningful life is not cramming your calendar with so much stuff.
Minimalism can apply to not only things we own but things we do. (This is sometime I️ still need to learn and apply.) Trying to add 48 hours worth of work into 24 hours will leave you exhausted and not very excited about what you’re doing, even I­f it’s enjoyable to you.

The quality of your time means everything, but spend too much time focused on yourself and your own goals and aspirations and you’ll end up doing a lot but not really living

How to Live a Little

Create room each day for negative space — time in which you do nothing. No podcasts, no music, just enjoy the silence and reflect on the moment. I­t­ could be 20 minutes, I­t­ could be 1 minute — whatever you have to give.

Practice intentionality. The more intentional we are about how we live, the more we can squeeze out happiness in every moment (even the sucky ones).
Go for a walk weekly or daily, with the mindset of practicing being intentional. From the small blades of grass to the buildings around you — focus on the world around you. Look at the sky, feel the wind, see and smile at the people you come across.

Plan Spontaneity. If you’re sometimes a tightwad (like me), plan to be spontaneous at least once a week. I️ know, planning spontaneity is not very spontaneous… but it’s a step in the right direction. When someone asks if you want to do something, be open to I­t­ if I­t­ sounds enjoyable to you. Get yourself ready for someone to ask you to be spontaneous. Steel yourself up. Make time to live a little.

Prioritize. Ask yourself, “Am I️ trying to fit a week’s worth of work into one day?” If you are, take a step back and reprioritize. We create the life we live with the decisions we make with what we have to go on. Reinvention is just one action away from reality.

Go on that hike, grab that sushi. 
Whatever you need to do, I­t­ can probably wait. But if I­t­ can’t, don’t fret about I­t­. Do what you have to do and grab sushi next time.

Live a little.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

https://forms.convertkit.com/317372?v=6

Related Insights

“Youth is something I never wanna take for granted. I just want to smile and live life.” — Tyler, The Creator

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” — Steve Jobs

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” — Dale Carnegie

Batch Everything!

Once you go batch you never go back (said no one).

 

Batching is the time management process of grouping a task into a block of time and focusing exclusively on it.

When I batch something I only am giving my attention to only one thing at a time — while ignoring or putting on hold other todos. (Okay I’m writing for Time Mastery right now, for 20 minutes, and then #tinyReviews after)

By batching what needs to get done, you actually produce MORE time, effectiveness, creativity and clarity, rather than if you were just jumping all over the place, doing twenty things at once. You also gain time you otherwise wouldn’t have by batching.

Every time we switch tasks, we must get into the mindset of each task we switch to. (Which takes time and mental energy.)

 

Blogging for example.

Instead of writing one post a day, every day, I can batch them all into one – two sessions per week. This focus puts me ahead of my determined schedule — which is essential for being a master of time — and allows me room to do other things I normally wouldn’t have time for, because I would otherwise be blogging every day (every – single – day )

Think of batching as a savings or investing account for your time.

You deposit work ahead of time, grouping todo’s into a block of time — which helps with clarity, and less distraction — and your accruing extra time for a future date.

You put in the work now, and reap the benefits later.

 

Benefits of a Batched Life

  • Less Distractions and Task Switching
  • Increased Concentration
  • Clarity, Focus, Creativity
  • More time for life.

Batching Examples

  • Practicing music (or other skill)
  • Programming
  • Reading | Learning
  • Meal Prepping
  • Podcasting
  • Writing
  • Blogging
  • Working / Business Dev
  • Social Media
  • Networking

Tips

One focus per batch.

Doing more than one task at a time is not batching, it’s trying to multitask.

“I’m going to write at least one page.”

“I’m going to learn ios for 90 minutes.”

Try not to overdo it.

You don’t know your limits until you push your limits,

but once you do, then keep yourself sane by not doing too much batching at once. Too much leads to poor work (which, in my experience, you’ll probably have to redo things : / )

Rest

If your batching multiple tasks per day, add moments of pause — and rest between each to rejuvenate yourself.

The goal for batching is to have more energy, not exhaust ourselves.

#KeepPursuing,

Josh Waggoner

Related:

The Pomodoro Technique

Introducing — Time Mastery

Mastery begins with Focused Attention.

Productivity is a learned skill. We can be master’s of our time, and therefore, masters of our destiny.

 

In my pursuit of excellence, mastery and a Renaissance Life (A life well-lived; our best selves) time has become increasingly precious and conflicting to me.

Precious meaning I am fully aware that we only have so much of it (the clock is literally ticking) and to be all that I want to be I need to utilize it the fullest. 

Conflicting because, with only so many hours in a day, there’s only so much we can do. opportunity cost is a real (stupid) thing.

When you want to be a master in multiple crafts, and to do so brilliantly (and with gusto!), you must also be a master of time and productivity.

So how do we maximize our input & output, while still thriving in other important areas of life (Love, Friendships, Fun)?

How do we work smarter, so we have time for what’s truly important?

What’s are the most important things we can do to create the greatest impact?

What do the most productive people do? And how do they do so much with the same amount of time everyone has?

 

thus, Time Mastery

an Renaissance Life series focused on productivity and efficiency in all aspects of our lives.

Putting in the time (pun intended!) so we can focus on living.

 

#KeepPursing,

Josh Waggoner

You’ll notice there are no ads on the site. I HATE it when Blogs and Websites bomb you with Ads. It’s distracting and can be quite f-ugly. But… let’s face it, blogs cost money and time. Instead, I’m hoping that through your Donations, and by using AffiliateRecommendations (things I ACTUALLY use and are beneficial), Renaissance Life can thrive. Every donation will mean the world to me. Thank you.