Balancing a busy life: help me - Off topic

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Long time nixers
Hey guys,

This year so far I have been really loaded with work.
Between the massive coursework from my 4 AP classes and a job after school every day till 9.
I find myself in a swamp of school and work with no time to pursue my Passion for technical things.

So I ask all you old wise geezers this:

Any tips for time management and school success that may free up some time in my life to tinker more?
Build a strict schedule and stick to it.
Assign some days to certain types of tasks.
That's what helped me. At first it might seems like monotony but it isn't, a strict schedule can have some flexible time.
It also forces you to do the things you have to do, you don't lag off.

I thought that after university I'll loose all my free time but it turned out the other way around. Get a hold of the mastering of time management.

How my personal TODO list and schedule are split:
(This is the real thing, don't start stalking me)

The Schedule:
Running: 7am-7:30am
Reading/programming/learning: 7:30am-11am
Cook&Bake: 11am-12:30am
Others(cleaning/cold shower/open time): 12:30pm-5pm
Wargames+hacks/security/psychology/scams/movies: 5pm:7pm
Ham radio/podcast: 7pm-8pm
chan/internet/read/chill: 9pm-10pm

wakeup: 4:45
work: 6:30-3:30
sport/cold shower: 5:20-5:45
gardening: 5:45:6:10
diner: 6:10-6:35
book/read/listen to podcast: 7:30-8:30
cook: 8:30-9:15

read/writing articles(blog)/animal/nature: 6:35-7:30

drawing/exotic music-beatboxing/brainstorm/dance moves: 6:35-7:30

wakeup: 4:45
work: 6:30-3:30
sport/cold showering: 5:20-5:45
gardening: 5:45:6:10
diner: 6:10-6:35
open time: 6:35-10

Running: 7am-7:30am
brain-teaser/memory: 7:30am-8am
gardening: 8am-9:30am
cold shower: 9:30am-9:40am
open time (news/shopping/hangout/cleaning/dailys/backups)

The TODO list:

My todo list is split up into categories which are:

* The must do stack (with little things, dates to remember, and a lot of little notes)
* The Days counter (a place where I count days for things I want to keep doing)
* Learning (a big list of links and notes about things I want to read about and learn)
* Projects (A list of projects ideas I'm working on or willing to start working on)
* The daily (Some stuffs that I don't look at too much because I do them daily, but in case I forget)
* Goals (A list of goals, long term, mid term, and long)
* Notes (A bunch of notes about random things)
* My 2-3 motivational quotes (To remind me when I'm slacking off that I should keep going)

Remember that everything is flexible.

I had a strict schedule when my commute was taking 2h to get to work and 3h20min to get back home, waking up at 5am and reaching home at 7:20pm.

You can manage it. Men have great willpower!
One thing that I did when I was in school was seriously evaluate how it is that I learn most effectively. I noticed that the homework for subjects that used to be "easy" for me were taking up a ton of time so I started taking notes on what I was thinking and learning, and which lessons/activities were the easiest for me to remember and which ones I was struggling with. Essentially, performance debugging on my brain. What I found out was that there are some explanations, exercises, etc that come easy to me and others that are much more difficult for me to sort through and retain, and for some inexplicable reason, I wasn't dealing with them the same way that I dealt with the "easy" stuff. Once I had that sorted, I began paying more attention to what I was thinking during those subjects/exercises and "reigned myself in" any time I started to deviate from my "known good methodology." There was a marked increase in the speed at which I was completing homework which ended up equating to a lot of compounded time saved.

Long story short, schoolwork was a huge bottleneck and I figured out that I was treating certain subjects in less efficient manner than others, then made a conscious effort to handle said things better and reaped some time-saving rewards.

Another thing is to do like what @venam says and make lists, with time ranges, then set your watch/phone/time-tracking device to have many alarms. From there it's a matter of self-discipline to adhere strictly to the schedule you've laid out. Just make sure to remember that you are not a robot and can't switch contexts as fast as a computer, so throw in a few minutes between each task to "take a breather."
CRUX Ports:
GPG: 3694569D
"We're all human, act accordingly." -- Me
(25-09-2015, 01:55 AM)venam Wrote: Wargames+hacks/security/psychology/scams/movies: 5pm-7pm

What wargames do you play that only take 2 hours? When I get to gaming with my friends I'm usually going at least 3-4 hours.
Was in a similar situation as you. I had 4 AP classes and 2 classes at a community college (dual-enrollment). I definitely learned to spend my time wisely. Luckily I graduated a few months ago and now everything is good.
(25-09-2015, 05:42 PM)ashen Wrote:
Quote:Wargames+hacks/security/psychology/scams/movies: 5pm-7pm
What wargames do you play that only take 2 hours? When I get to gaming with my friends I'm usually going at least 3-4 hours.
I play on But these days I mostly play at work between tasks so at that time I usually read a psychology book or watch "The Real Hustle".
I also moved reading and learning about security topics at work.
Oh, I had thought you meant wargames as in tabletop games. That makes a lot more sense. I wasn't really thinking about what site I was on I guess.

Also, I would add input to the thread but I do an absolutely terrible job at balancing my schedule.