I’m sitting by a large window in a cafe in Manhattan, facing the East and hoping to get some rays of sun before I head into to the cave of work. I have five more minutes before I have to go. I am a time pressure samurai. You can become one too.
Time is at a premium these days which is why you haven’t heard much from me these days. I’m a public school teacher with two children. I’m getting a graduate degree in library science and spending as much of my “free” time as possible at school libraries and library trainings.
There seems to be very little time. But here is this cafe window and a cup of coffee that gets cold within thirty minutes. I use this little “window” of time every morning to create or study and connect.
It seems many personal and fun projects have gotten away from me. So instead of despairing I go through little “me paces,” short little bursts of activities that I want to do:
- read inspirational or professional articles one page at a time
- review of a current notebook
- Review an old notebook
- study Japanese for five minutes using I know
- study Tagalog
I usually get into the cafe around 7 a.m. and have to leave by 7:40 to get to work on time. This is also the amount of time it takes for my cup of coffee to get cold. I pile up my reading and notebooks and set my iPhone to the side. I read a page, review a notebook page, review an older notebook page.
Then I open my cellphone and study iKnow (a program with pre-packaged sentences in Japanese), write three sample sentences, and quiz myself on the rest of the work. Since I have my iPhone at hand, I use Mango to study Tagalog. I’m studying this language because I have a few Philippine friends and I thought it would be fun. (The app and access to Mango is free through many public libraries.) Tagalog is not a major goal so I only study five “cards” at a time and this study session takes two or three minutes. Lately, since I realize having the iPhone in hand means access to many goals, I have also started writing and editing an article on how to keep a Samurai Mind Notebook.
Though I spend very little time on each activity there are several benefits:
- A little bit every day keeps the neural chain going–skills are never completely abandoned
- small attempts clear the ground for when there are moments of time–raking the leaves a little bit each day instead of waiting for a big wet leafy mess
- its fun–it keeps little candle of hope and fun burning
Take it all a little bit at a time. Become a time pressure samurai.