This is a description of how I ideally spend my time. And by ideally, of course I imply that I do slip up from time to time in doing it. Still, in my opinion, it’s not a bad framework to organize my daily life.
There are some assumptions implicit within this framework. Some that I currently remember are: you have basic IQ to prioritize your activities, you have the discipline to actually pull this framework off, your choice of activities will be meaningful and focused around a particular life theme (e.g. being a doctor, exploring the world, etc.), you are capable of creating small chunks of one day action to achieve your long-term goals, etc. There are of course other assumptions that I’m currently not aware of, so you may have troubleshot yourself if problem arise from attempting to use this framework.
- Works: things that you need to do sooner or later.
- Shit works: works that you don’t like to do. E.g. school homework.
- Enjoyable works: works that you like to do. E.g. (for me) creating summary from a textbook about a subject I actually like.
- Recreations: things that you don’t really have to do.
- Productive recreation: recreations that is likely to bring a lot of benefits. E.g. exercise.
- Nonproductive recreation: recreations that is not likely to bring any benefits. E.g. watching soap operas.
- Granny’s rule: eat your vegetable first (do the things you don’t like first, and only after that you are allowed to do the things that you like)
- Hustling: doing more than you need to today just in case something happens tomorrow.
- Sustainability: not doing so much things so that you don’t end up not being able to do things properly.
Note that activities are not static. For example, things you consider to be recreations may later turn out to be works, or works that you think are shitty may turn out to be enjoyable after you look at it from a different perspective. My point is that your activities can change from one class to another from time to time. And it is OK since the framework can still be useful even when the activities classification is not static.
This time range for this framework is one day. I tried to make the framework as simple as possible since too much detail can derail the implementation (complicated frameworks tend to not get used).
In normal situation, I’d get some shitty works done in the morning to make sure I don’t procrastinate later on. After taking a break from doing those shitty works, if I feel like it, I’ll do some enjoyable works, and if I don’t feel like it, I’ll do some recreations. If I take the recreation route, then, after taking a little break, I’ll do some more works (shitty or enjoyable). That way I’m able to finish two work in a day.
When I’m feeling lethargic (lazy), I’d do what other people do: engage in a long period of recreation. However, there’s a crucial difference from what people usually do: once I’m not able to find another distraction and start to feel bored, I shift back to doing work (probably only the enjoyable ones since I’m currently lethargic).
In emergency situation (when you have a work that need to get done quickly because the deadline is approaching), obviously, you’ll need to get the work finished first. And only after that, you can enjoy some recreations or, better yet, do some enjoyable works.
In every situation above, granny’s rule always take precedent: shitty works, enjoyable works, then recreations, in that order!
Note that there’s a balance of hustling vs. sustainability that you need to always be mindful of. Do more than just enough, but don’t do too much things.
On recreations’ productivity
It’s easy to say that we shouldn’t engage in any kind of nonproductive recreations. But, to be honest, judging the “productivity” of recreations (how much you benefit from it) is hard. For one, every media can be used to deliver masterpiece, which in this case means that every recreation can probably be beneficial if done right. The other reason would be the saying that “a wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a foolish man from a wise answer,” which in this case means that if you’re wise enough, you can probably still get some benefits even from the most useless recreations.
In the end, you must judge for yourself. And however good you’re at judging the productivity of recreations, you’ll always be surprised when you’re wrong. I, myself, was surprised when I found out that learning too much about languages that I don’t use often is not that beneficial to me, or when I found out that I can learn about accepting my dark side by watching useless anime.