Time and tide wait for no man

So yesterday one of my junior colleagues asked me, “You have written more than 80 posts and you write everyday, don’t you run out of ideas of what to write?” 

I said, “No”. In fact I have so many thoughts running in mind that I have to choose what I want to write. We read everyday (not necessarily books, could be the news, articles, blogs, someone’s post on Twitter, IG or FB), we converse everyday (with our family members, friends, colleagues, sometimes strangers) and we watch/listen to media everyday (TV, Netflix, YouTube, podcast etc). Any of these interactions in your daily lives should spark ideas or inspire you to talk about it especially if it’s surrounding your interest. I’m sure all of you have many ideas/thoughts too, just that most of the time we let it run and stay in our head.

For example, today’s topic is triggered by an article shared by a friend – The Smart Guide to Procrastination.

The message of the article got me inspired to write and share to all of you because it is related to my 1-minute daily blog. The key message of the article is that you can procrastinate less, complete more tasks and achieve more things by adopting the unschedule model, a term invented by the psychologist, author and skilled procrastination-avoider Neil Fiore and published in his book, The Now Habit, in 1988. According to his research:

those who finished writing dissertations in one to two years as opposed to three to 13 years, were the ones who were busier in their lives

I totally agree. After getting married and especially now, after having a kid, I find that I become more efficient, simply because I don’t have time to procrastinate or I’ll never get anything done. I have the mindset that I want to do things fast. At work, I want to be more productive so that I can go home early and play with my son. So I will plan my work accordingly to avoid any late-nights and ad-hoc work. For the work that I can control, I would, but there are times when it is beyond my control but that’s fine because it rarely happens. Since I had my son, I have only stayed up until 4am to work once.

Part of me writing daily is also to break the myth that once you are married and have kids, you are doomed and you can’t do anything else, apart from day-to-day work (if you are working) and taking care of your family. You will have the time to read a book if you make time for it. One of my former colleagues have 4 kids with no maid and she has a full-time work, a finance director in one of the large corporations in Malaysia. She wakes up everyday at 5am so that she has her ‘me-time’. According to her, that’s the only time she has to do whatever she wants.

Fiore (the inventor of unschedule model) also said that, based on his research:

Those of us who were busy with other activities started earlier in our day on our task, for 30-60 minutes, sometimes 90 minutes at a time, because we had a life to live.

My friend who shared the article to me said, “I bet you actively schedule to blog”. That’s not quite true. I aim to do it every morning before I go to work. So most of the time, I did it in the morning, but there are days that I did it during lunch time or at night. This is the concept of unschedule.

You should try it too. Try unschedule some time everyday for the things that you really want to do for yourself. You want to exercise, do it at any time in the day when you are free. Don’t tell me you are fire-fighting 24 hours everyday.

One of my former supervisor did her CFA level 3 when she had her 2nd kid. So she actually stayed up at night every day to study and in between she stopped to breastfeed her kid. And she passed her exam. She told me that as a result, her kid grew up liking to study.

Another example, one of the leaders in my organization exercise everyday no matter what happens. Mind you, he has a big responsibility. He said to me, “you have to get used to intermittent exercise and without any equipment”. Indirectly, what is he trying to say is, you don’t have to wait for the world around you to be perfect for you to do what you want, because life is imperfect as such and the choice is entirely yours.

Time and tide wait for no man – centuries old proverb which remains very relevant until now.

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