In Nick Hornby's About a Boy, main protagonist Will Freeman decides to divide his leisure time into 30-minute segments, whether it is watching television, shopping, buying records, or even casually dating. Granted, all his time is free time, allowing him to make these activities segmented. In my case, I have been absolutely swamped at work like most of the population, so my brain needs a rest for a little bit after. For my own free time after I finish work, I began experimenting with segments on certain nights. I've been traveling on business As I've mentioned in the past, I am no different than most other spectrum peeps when it comes to time management, which means it's severely lacking. So maybe using the segments will help me figure out the best ways to spend my time.
- Professional Development: I am studying for MCSA certification in SQL Server 2012, which means three exams. I've been reading up for the first exam, which has been a breeze since it concerns querying. I've been covering 1-2 chapters weekly, using the allotted times that the books require as my segments on those nights. I sometimes go through moments where I ask myself what I have done with my life, despite my recent role expansion and advancement at my current gig. I do have a few nice things to my name, but I can't settle. I did well in school because they gave me knowledge and formulas to repeat, and I could learn once I was provided with a direction. However, practicing myself has been hard enough. The slack room is waiting for the first exam scheduling, because I base it on how I learn.
- Music: Last week I used a 30-minute block to tune my guitar for the first time since November. I rarely get to play it because I'm not all that good at chord transitions. I may think about revisiting it one day, though, just for fun. I also want to get back into music reviews at RYM, where all I've done over the last year is catalog and occasionally comment on a message board. However, my most frequent blocks, that could last an hour or so, are those for the C3VO project, which has also been long delayed. I give that an hour because I go on creative streaks and don't want to force myself. That might have been my problem last year, as I had ideas for track lengths more so than what was behind them. My beats are complimented for their style.
- Travel: I spend some 30-minute blocks prepping for my Europe excursion at the start of May. I have two weeks to travel the British Isles (England, Scotland, Ireland, etc), and I hardly know anything about traveling across the ocean. There's a big learning curve for six weeks. So even though I have booked most of my travel, I still have to plan where I want to see.
- Fitness: This is usually 75 minutes for the whole gym trip, from changing to workout and back. Unless, of course, I use the kettlebell or do the home boot camp, where it's much less time.
Of course, among the segments are periods where he looks for temporary female companionship, so that leads me to the final one. This should be a separate entry, but I've decided to tie it to this list.
- Dating: I hate feelings. It's a confession of emotional attachment that can't be controlled easily. I like to think every aspie has claimed this at least once in their lives. I re-entered dating coming from a dark place, and it's been a secondary priority to me versus my career goals. Essentially, it's an area where I had no goals and I'm still not sure of them four months after I got back into it. If you date someone you meet, whether online, through friends, at a bar, or in line at Schoolkids Records, there's a chance that one or both of you will feel greater affection the longer you keep it up; not to the point of "I love you so much so hard let's get married now" but just that you do the little things better because you see a potential spark. So that's really now in there to throw off my schedule. However, it was worth a 15-30 minute block to browse OkCupid or respond to messages. Maybe I'll be able to embrace these feelings one day, without being so scared to have them and the concept of another relationship becoming akin to Kanye's verse in "Lost in the World."