While reading through this week’s prescribed text – Finding Time for It All by Judy Wajcman, I couldn’t help but realise the irony of how much of what she wrote related to me, and i’m sure thousands of other students in similar positions. From her requote; we “Work too much, eat too quickly, socialise too little, drive and sit in traffic for too many hours, don’t get enough sleep, and feel harried too much of the time” – I feel like 5 of the mentioned 7 are in many ways usually applicable to me, and at some stage all of them simultaneously. As someone currently working 2 jobs and studying full-time, I have to allocate my time carefully. Granted I am in my last University semester, and I do see a light at the end of the tunnel, time continues to be my biggest foe. In saying that, I read the majority of this text on the tram home at about 4pm, after a full day of classes, digging into my 2 hour break before a work shift begins at 6.30. The technological distractions, those which Wajcman contends are reconfiguring the temporal spatial dynamics of how people think and act, are again another hurdle to overcoming in focusing always-limited time to a particular task.
As she mentions, there are time-management apps, and digital methods to track movement and activity. Should I download a time-management app? Or will it cause more stress, acting as yet another time-stringent task. It would mean constant self-imposed deadlines, which frankly I see as a huge evoker of worry. However I am actually quite organised with time without need for such things. I’ve never pulled an all nighter to hand in an assignment and I’ve never missed a due date. However I do believe if I allocated my time in more detail, I could be much more efficient with my time and my work. I’ve already made one significant change to my study routine, and that’s getting out of my bedroom. They say don’t sh*t where you eat, well I say don’t work where you sleep. It fosters distractions. In contrast, I’ve found (and i’m certain there are countless studies out there that prove) studying in a public library or university, with like-minded intentions surrounding me, has increased my focusability.
On another Wajcman-related note, I have hope that future technologies will aid in the mundane tasks, allowing us a little bit more freedom and leisure time. She mentions that “by relying on these integrated systems, we’ll be able to use our time more effectively each day” – sounds good to me. A personal robotic butler with a “jeeves-like English accent”, now that sounds even better!
For my final thoughts…
Technology is the driving force behind countless modern and future trends. Included is the trend of how we use our time. In some ways it makes us more time-efficient, but in many other ways it serves as distraction to efficiency, and largely an excuse. Regardless, it comes down to self-control and organisation. Technology isn’t going away, and it shouldn’t be used as an excuse. Distract when you want to be distracted, work when you want to work. Utilise the benefits and let technology be your friend in the battle against time. It should be that simple, shouldn’t it?