I've been considering a lot lately how I spend my time. Or rather, how I waste it. For the most part, I'm a pretty productive girl. I have a full time job, and still manage to devote 20+ hours a week to writing. But game apps on my phone and television steal a lot of time away that could be spent on other things. What I fall prey to more than anything is down time at work. I can burn time on Pinterest like you wouldn't believe, or spend a couple hours reading Amazon product reviews. These are things that might "feel" productive, but really, what am I gaining?
On the contrary, life is short, and I'm a grown woman, so I should be able to do what I want. Right? That's one way to look at it, I suppose. But the larger question is: what kind of woman do I want to be?
Just like eating a healthy diet will yield different results than eating a diet high in fat and calories (I've lost a lot of weight over the past 6 months, so I can attest to this), using my time in a productive manner will yield a better person overall than letting it go to waste. So how can I make this happen?
The key to any major lifestyle change is discipline. Discipline isn't something that most people just have—it's both learned and earned. That's why if you tell me you want to be a writer, I'll tell you to write every day. That doesn't mean you're going to produce amazing literary work every day, but it does mean that you're making a habit out of something you desire to do, and thus your chances of continuing that behavior are greater. You can't spend 10 minutes writing one day and call yourself a writer—just like you can't count calories for one day and expect to lose weight. I truly believe we're all capable of accomplishing anything we want in life, but we have to put the time in.
So now that I've identified a behavior in my life that I'd like to change, how do I go about doing it? Well, it's really quite simple. I need to make another option available. If I don't want to spend needless hours on Pinterest, I need something else to do. Over the past couple days I've been reading Graphic Design: A User's Manual by Adrian Shaughnessy. Not only is it enriching my day job as a graphic designer, but there are some very insightful comments on book cover design—which I have a keen interest in as a writer. I've found something useful to do with my time that relates to two of the most prominent aspects of my life. And most importantly, I feel productive.
This doesn't mean I'm going to stop playing Words with Friends, or stop watching television. But it does mean that I'm going to put greater consideration into how I spend my time. After all, life is short, and I deserve to get the most out of it.