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Spending Time

Ten Helpful Tips

William F. Barnes


Copyright © 2014-2024 by William F. Barnes. All rights reserved. Unauthorized retention, duplication, distribution, or modification is not permitted. [Legal]
  1. Do not play games as a main activity.

    Do not game to pass time. Do not start or end your day with games. Like ginger to sushi, a game may be used as a palate cleanser of the mind for shifting between purposeful activities.

  2. End habitual scrolling.

    Endless looping of blooper tracks and cringe reels only blunts sensitivity and motivation. Avoid dopamine rewards from electronics. Get this instead from personal achievement and from the grace of others.

  3. Do two primary things.

    Separate from your profession, partition enough time for a second primary discipline that has long-term constructive purpose. Immerse at all depths and follow all tangents, avoiding fruitless fictions.

  4. Don't hesitate to engage in new subjects alone.

    You don't need institutions to become interested and rarely need them to become an expert.

  5. Passive engagement does not breed expertise.

    Finding something worthwhile, gather materials as if preparing a book, and then construct a summary of your findings. Share this with others with the original source as a mere footnote.

  6. To master a skill, there must be a plus, a minus, and an equal.

    There must be a teacher, guide, or master of some kind. There must be younger initiates to whom you impart knowledge. There must be peers to serve as a reflection of your own state.

  7. Mitigate tasks to fit your moods.

    Find patterns in your personal workflow when creativity is strongest, or when there is an urge to organize, or when reading and listening is the best option. Schedule your activities with respect to your energy levels.

  8. Free your senses from video.

    Consuming video commits your eyes and hands to idleness. Isolate the audio component. If the message is compelling enough to steal your attention, so be it.

  9. Maintain a shrine.

    Curate works from yourself and from others. Refrain from treating the shrine as a soulless archive or data dump. Pay proper regards to aesthetics. Emphasize self-expression instead of rigorous scaffolding and layout. GitHub is not a shrine.

  10. Interrupt bodily stagnation often.

    Getting up for a walk does more than stretch your physical sinew. Take a few moments to forget what you were doing.