A Hypocrite’s Guide to Not Wasting Time

If time is money, then I have wasted a lot of money.  credits to David Michalczuk on Flickr
If time is money, then I have wasted a lot of money. credits to David Michalczuk on Flickr

If you’re reading this, you honestly probably have better things to do that would be more productive, but you’re already more than halfway through this sentence so too late.

Disclaimer: I am probably the most unqualified person to be giving tips on how not to waste time.  Like this would be the equivalent of a criminal telling you how not to break the law.  But if you think about it, most criminals probably have a reasonably thorough understanding of the law, they just choose to break it.  Similarly, I have a pretty solid grasp on the concept of time management, I just choose to use it very little.

So here’s a list of a bunch of things you should not do if you want to use your time wisely.  (Incidentally, it’s pretty much a list of things I’ve done this weekend.)

Don’t think that you have time to finish something later.  You don’t.  And even if you did, you know that you’re not gonna do it until the very last possible second so you might as well get it out of the way now.  Plus, it leaves room for error.  And believe me, I need a lot of room.

Don’t sleep so late.  You’re gonna wake up past the time when normal people eat breakfast, you’re gonna eat lunch at the wrong hour, and then you’re gonna wanna take it easy for the next couple hours because I mean, come on, you just woke up, and boom it’s 8 o’clock and it’s dark outside and you’re just gonna spend the rest of the night thinking about how your life is a mess rather than get anything done.

Don’t forget to prioritize.  If something’s due online or requires the computer, do that first. Because it’s easy to finish worksheets in the car, but hard to type up an essay.  Getting ahead on other stuff (like sleep) may feel good at the time, but it’s not going to help you when you realize in the middle of second period that you forgot to do your history homework.

Don’t start a new TV series.  This one’s mostly for me.  I DON’T CARE HOW GOOD IT IS JUST DON’T DO IT.

Until next episode,

Mad Hatter


Motivation, Where are You?

Photo ©2010 by Andrew Blight [C.C.-by-2.0]
Photo ©2010 by Andrew Blight [C.C.-by-2.0]
It’s funny when I think back to the places and time where most of my writing or more memorable thoughts appear. Almost always, I get the greatest ideas when I’m walking to school, doing the dishes, or in the shower. The ideas never come to me when I’m doing anything else. I would say that it’s just exclusive to those three activities. Some of my friends tell me that they often feel super motivated to change their life, to study more, live more right when they’re all tucked in and ready to sleep. I experience it to but for some reason, it also occurs when I’m walking home. During my last class, I’ll be super motivated and tell myself I’ll do my homework right when I get home and I’ll try to finish most of it so that I’ll still have time to lounge around and sleep early. Theoretically, it should work right? Considering that I only have about 30-40 math problems (1.5 hours), a science project that I finish slowly (20 min), a Spanish worksheet (10 min), and a few chapters of my English book (20 min), I could finish all the easy homework (ones that take less than 30 minutes to finish so everything except math) in about an hour and take a little nap because after I get home from school, I still have about 9-10 hours before midnight. Bbbbuuuuuutttttt wait a second, in theory it works but we all know how that turns out in real life.  Continue reading

Paper vs. Digital

Photo ©2006 by John Ward [C.C.-by-2.0]This weekend, my friends and I went to Barnes and Noble, well more like I dragged them to Barnes and Noble. I wanted to see if they had Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul and they did! Because we there so early (about half an hour after Barnes and Noble had opened) the whole place was empty and it was easy finding a seat. Since the most of the other shops at the mall were only opened at 11pm, we had about an hour and a half to spare and I convinced my friends to stay in Barnes and Noble until 11pm. They agreed.

I picked up the book and finished it within half an hour and then I went browsing for other books. The moment I picked up a book, it was such a different feeling. I had been reading books from a screen for a while so actually holding a brand new book made of paper felt like I was in another world. The book I had in my hands was Miss Peregrine’s House for Peculiar Children. My friend had recommended it to me a few months ago and I wanted to read it ever since I read the synopsis. The pages were smooth and thick. This was the kind of book I would take with me on long airplane trips.

Going to the Journal section, my friends and I were mesmerized with the journal display. We stood there for probably half an hour and I was trying to resist the temptation to buy a journal even though I already had one at home, which was only half filled. Then, I thought more about whether I should write in a journal at all. I used to think that I would write down my thoughts on a blog to be stored in the cloud or on my computer, but now I like the idea of documenting everything on paper instead.

I wish I could write both digitally and on paper but another part of me wants everything to be in the same place. For now, I think I’ll stick with writing on paper and reading digitally.

– Duchess

P.S. Check out more of John Ward’s work here!

A Questionable Week

credits to +Angst on Flickr
credits to +Angst on Flickr

This has been one of those weeks that feels like a bunch of stuff is happening while nothing is really happening at all.  It’s weird.  So, I’m just gonna list all the stuff that has mildly to extremely interested me this week.  Insert awkward transition here.

SBAC Testing

If you’re a junior in high school in the United States, you might have had to wake up on Wednesday and Thursday to face two hours of this fancy new Common Core testing.  It supposed to be some sort of critical thinking alternative to normal standardized testing, probably because there can be -gasp- more than one right answer. And I feel like I should applaud the government for their efforts or something, but I’m just gonna say that I really hate taking tests on computers. Like, I don’t like reading off a computer screen or trying to highlight things by clicking the options menu or pressing buttons on their insanely small calculator. Most of my discomfort is probably just due to the fact that I’m extremely irritable in the morning, but I do prefer old-fashioned test booklets, where I can crease the pages and underline as I please. But that’s just me.

Applying for Everything Under the Sun

This school year is coming to a close, so that means preparations have already started for next year. I understand the necessity of this and all, but I really wouldn’t mind a break every now and then. Like can’t I have time to situate myself before I even begin to think about whatever ensuing madness is going to rear its head next year? I guess not.
Here’s what’s already been determined about next school year (which, weirdly enough is still this year, but let’s try not to think any more about the passage of time than we need to.) I heard back from the UCI Cancer Research Program that I applied for and they “regret to inform me” that I did not make it in, through they “strongly encourage” that I reapply next year.  I was talking about it with some of my other friends who didn’t make it in, and we were all disappointed, but not as disappointed as we’d thought we would be.  Maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet; that’s always a possibility.  Or maybe it was a different kind of disappointment.  Right after I read the rejection email, I said to my friend who asked me how I felt, “I don’t feel it in my head, I feel it in my stomach, if that makes any sense.”  I think it does, at least to me.
On a happier note, I did get accepted into Link Crew, which I am especially excited about.  Link Crew is this program that takes place about a week before school starts, where all the incoming freshmen are herded into an auditorium and then sent in small groups to their Link Crew leaders, upperclassmen who are supposed to explain to the freshmen what they can expect from high school.  I’m really looking forward to this because I have this unexplainable love for underclassmen.  I think they’re afraid, but unafraid at the same time.  And some of them are just really funny.  Or maybe it’s the fact that they haven’t been corrupted yet.  Who knows.  Unfortunately, our band director is not pleased that such a large chunk of upperclassmen are participating in Link Crew.  He’s worried about how we’ll be missing days of band camp, and that’s understandable, though I really wish that he would be more supportive of us pursuing extracurriculars outside of band.  But don’t even get me started on that rant.
Apart from those two things, I’ve also applied to be a board member on Medical Society and a section leader in the band. And that’s another thing.  With every single student in high school being expected to overachieve, it’s really starting to make me question my own motivations.  Like I feel like it’s messed me up.  Before this, I could try out for things simply because I wanted to do them.  But now, there’s always a part of me wondering why I’m really doing this, who I’m really doing this for.  Is it something I want to experience or something I think I need to put on a college application.  All my decisions are tainted with this underlying doubt that I’m no longer doing things for myself.  And I hate that.  Almost as much as SBAC testing.

Rethinking all my life decisions,

Mad Hatter

P.S. I was also gonna talk about TV shows and Catcher in the Rye, but the tone just got increasingly serious, and I couldn’t shift it back.  Maybe next time.