Someone once told me that if you don’t prioritize your own time, someone else will. Time is of the essence and if you don’t use your time for yourself, then someone else will use your time for their benefit.
I believe I first heard this back when I was working in investment banking, when my time was quite literally not mine. Now, I think about time frequently, and whether I am managing it how I would like to, rather than how someone else thinks I should spend my time.
In life, there are many pulls on our time, by the people we love, by the things we love to do, and often towards things that others want us to do. Being in graduate school, to me, feels often like a very selfish time, where I often dictate much of what I wish to be doing, whether it be to do my readings for class, or go for lunch with a friend. I feel very grateful for this freedom.
But when you are in a job, your time becomes less of your own. You get invited to meetings, which you can either go to or not to go to. You get asked to do tasks that maybe you would rather not do if you had not been asked. You stay late at work to finish something up become someone asked you to. And it’s hard to protect your time, because someone else could be taking advantage of it, and may not understand how precious your time is, because it’s not their own.
Now that I am back at my second year of graduate school, I hope to continue to be intentional about how I spend my time – with the people I like and the things that I like to do (as well as time to think and reflect, as my “introvert time”). To try and not do things just because everyone is doing them, or spending time with people just because other people like them. This, again, might sound selfish, but who are we if not ourselves?
I have a number of courses this semester that will challenge me to think about who I am and who I want to be. I will be more diligent to write and share my thoughts through the blog as my thinking and who I am continues to change.