The Purge – Time
When assessing my life I often try to figure out what I’m doing with my time. For some reason I’ve always wondered what Oprah Winfrey was doing with her time to get to where she was in life. We see her on her show for an hour a day, but what is she doing outside of the tv show with her time that is making her so successful?
I used to dream about having a talk show where I asked interesting people the real questions we all wanted to know the answers to. I would always envision myself interviewing people like Oprah, Tyra Banks, Russell Simmons, etc… These were very real conversations I would have with them in my mind. One of the questions would always sound something like this…
“So Tyra… we see you on TV hosting America’s Next Top Model, you have your books, your endorsements, basically doing your mogul thing. But… what does your actual schedule look like behind all of that?”
Lady O, Tyra, and Uncle Russ would always grab their chests and laugh at me for being a bit caught off guard. But they always followed up with a detailed schedule that they ran day-to-day to get whatever business done they needed to get done. I would always be shocked at how they had managed to find extra time in the day in ways that I had not thought about before!
My talk show is nowhere in the near future, so the celebrities are on hold for a minute. But, I will say that I’ve always assumed scholars and other entrepreneurs adopted similar schedules as the celebrities in my head. It must take a lot repetition or where-with-all to keep pumping out articles, compiling research, managing customers and investors needs simultaneously. So I reached out to Dr. Boyce Watkins, former Finance professor for Syracuse University turned Social Entreprenuer, to ask him what his schedule looked like. Again, quick response and I came away with more than I could have hoped for.
My schedule looks nothing like this. But I’m excited to see how I can try to plan things differently to sneak more minutes out of each day. I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately that say waking up a couple hours before you need to start getting ready for work is the way to go. I can also say that last year my preps (periods off when teaching) were used to rest and just mentally recover. NOW, I make sure I get as much work done as I can. Usually its planning for my 7th period Post Graduate Prep elective course, or making small changes/prep work for my English classes. Either way I get as much done while I’m in the school building as possible before I leave. Once I walk into my house, my body and mind are prone to shut down, and recently I’ve stopped trying to fight them.
What does your schedule look like? Would you say you use your time well enough to get to the level of success you expect for yourself?
Addition: One thing I really loved about Dr. Boyce’s message is that it figuratively gave me permission to say fuck it in my head to my friends and peers who question and perhaps even judge why I use my time the way I use my time. I’m not much of a partier – I never-ever have been. However, whether its my frat, my coworkers, my fam, my fellow grad students, whoever – sometimes I feel a bit accosted when asked why I don’t want to hang out or why I’m not doing what normal people do on weekends, etc… It was really difficult trying to validate to myself that spending time researching, writing, thinking, working was worth it when so many people I respected gave me the mental side-eye for being different. It’s still never easy to tell my frat – “No homie, I can’t go out tonight.” Now, I realize that I can use my time however I want without feeling bad for going against the grain.
Thanks again Dr. Boyce – you let me see that since I’m trying to accomplish something different than my peers my schedule will inevitably look different than their’s as well – and that’s ok.