It doesn’t take much for things to start piling up. As it is, on the web alone I visit Digg, Yahoo Answers, 1up, YouTube, Gmail, this blog and my RSS reader. Trying to keep up with all the articles, videos and the like it time enough, and is what I call semi-recreation.
Semi-recreation is leisure time spent on somewhat intellectual or work-like passtimes. Yahoo Answers is a good example of this, as it is recreational in that this is on my own time for the sake of doing it, but it is still answering questions, which isn’t inherently relaxing or entertaining.
On its own it is fine, but semi-recreation is an enemy of relaxation and stress relief, and can lead to one being overwhelmed.
As you can see, I’ve somewhat fallen prey to this. Aside from the aforementioned digital endeavours, I have also been off-and-on (some moreso than others) spent time on learning piano, improving writing, learning Japanese, playing a back-log of videogames, mastering chess, and working on my drawing. Put these things, plus college, into one day, and there’s simply no time.
Here’s my method of untangling the mess:
1. Work out necessities – Choose things that must get done, or that you feel you cannot give up.
2. Choose a relaxer – Everyone needs to unwind, don’t let these get completely cut out.
3. Find something active – With so many different things to focus on, physical activity can be ignored. Exercise in some capacity is requisite.
4. Cut, cut, cut – Time to cut things that given the prior obligations, you won’t have reasonable time to do
5. Divide remaining time to semi-recreation – The mind needs to be engaged as well, and semi-recreation works well for it, as long as it’s not the driving force for your time.
While I can’t do everything I’d like to, the two hours I’ve salvaged away from semi-recreation and dedicated to exercise (Stepmania) and relaxation (currently Radiata Stories) has done more to sharpen the mind than a listless wandering through the web ever could.