the biggest difference between being employed in an academic medium versus a corporate medium is what i’m dubbing “irregular regularlity versus regular regularity.”
as an example, in my second year at the UofO, even though my weekly schedule was fairly regular, my daily schedule was highly irregular. my mondays were 8:00-23:00 days between teaching classes, taking classes, teaching high school, and having 100th Monkey rehearsals, Tuesdays were 11:00-19:00 days with the occasional 8:00 at certain times because of the electronic computer lab, etc. by contrast, my current corporate job has a fairly regular daily and weekly schedule, varied only by time of the fiscal year, special projects, or crises. otherwise, it’s your typical 8 to 5.
When i was in school, the stuff that dictated my regular schedule also ended up dictating my free time schedule, mainly because of what needed to get accomplished for the next irregular regularity. Homework for this class, writing music for this section of the marching show, finishing up some Max work, socialising with friends because we just got out of rehearsal, and the like.
again, this severely contrasts my current paradigm. There’s very little structure to how i use my free time since all of my work obligations i handle during work hours. This would be fine if i managed my free time well, but lately i don’t feel like i’ve had the proper balance. if we break my free time down into five rough categories of poker, socialising (both online and in real life), projects, time-wasters, and other (being things like random british telly, social diddering, domesticism), i spend much more time on the time-wasters than i do on projects even though projects takes higher precedence over time-wasters in my head.
i attribute some of this to the fact that most of my projects lack of deadlines or goals like they did when i was in an academic atmosphere, whereas the time-wasters in a sense *do* have goals because i’m trying to break 700k on chain factor or achieve this ranking on prolific or the like. This has been bothering me for a while, and i’ve been working to try to change it, but it’s been difficult to do so, particularly when the peak crisis i was dealing with at work ate up all of my time in late march and early april made me so burnt out that i didn’t have energy to do anything other than zone out.
Recently i started playing live poker games at a club downtown that’s open from 6pm until 2am, and this has introduced an element of irregularity to my regular week since i’ve been consistently going to the tuesday evening mixed games and the saturday evening tournament and cash games. Last week i started to scheme in my head an idea to use this new irregular regularity to help designate other days of the week to specific projects and create a rough outline of a long term project goal timeline. Not that the time-wasters would completely go away, as i feel they have their own place in my life that isn’t deteremental, just that those time-wasters would dominate my free time less. So i might make, say, monday and thursday my online poker days with a mix of some minor project or admin related to said project that i don’t need to devote huge energy to or a lot of hours at a time whereas wednesday and saturday daytime is devoted to projects more completely whilst sunday is devoted to domestics and some “others”, all as broad big-picture guidelines that i can adjust or refine on the fly based on individual circumstances.
we’ll see what happens. right now DSR Squared is occupying my project thoughts more than anything else, but a part of me is looking for some material to write a choir piece for Jenni Brandon (i’m thinking Steven Brust material), another part of me is coming up with some video game medley music for Laura, another part of me is trying to figure out what i want my next video project to be, another part of my head is thinking about marching band stuff again, etc. etc.
my head sometimes feels like it’s too full.