time management

How to Make Time For What You Love

How to Make Time For What You Love

“You make time for what you want to make time for.”

This is something I say to people often. It can apply to anything and speaks to what we value and what we make space for in our lives. Whether it is volunteering, starting your own venture, or networking, there is always more that we can do with our time to achieve our goals. But often, I find that people suffer from inertia. They get stuck in the routine of what they've always done or whatever is easiest. Time is a finite resource. When we "save" it, it isn't going into some bank to use later. We have to make the most of the time that is given to us.

Managing Downtime: A Practical Guide to Dealing with Office Hour Boredom


I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I’m working…I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work. -Peter Gibbons, Office Space (1998)

Everyone has been there. If you understand the mission of this site, you may be there, trying to find a way out right now. Whether the job is boring or just not challenging, eight hours of your day, 40 hours of your week, 160 hours of your month, and 1920 hours of your year may be wasted because you’re ultimately unfulfilled at your work. These numbers may be exaggerations, as for some people, they may just go through periods of slow time or unproductivity due to the ebbs and flows of the nature of their work, while others just hit a rut. This is more so for those in the latter category as opposed to those for whom this is a constant reality, but even you are in the former, hopefully there is something here to make your days just a little brighter. This isn’t going to be a reiteration of the fish philosophy about just having a better attitude at work. Although that is the simplest way, and a prerequisite for approaching any unideal situation in life, this article assumes you know the importance of such. Instead, this whittles down to one piece of practical advice – connect what you like to do, to what you’re currently doing. This involves some creative thinking in that you need to find a connection to what you like doing within the context and confines of having office hours. For a student affairs professional, especially a residence life professional who has the opportunity to collaborate with any office on campus, all this takes is initiative.

For me, writing has become a great passion of mine. So I take the time to write about what I like and don’t like about what I do in the hopes that it resonates with others. So it’s not completely self-serving and taking away from honoring the position I have, some of that writing is research-based: reading articles from scholarly journals about student affairs practices and coming up with new ideas and theories that can be applied today. It’s being productive, even if it’s a bit outside of the purview of my job description, but one that can contribute to the department or field at large. The idea is productivity. For you, it could be dancing, cooking, singing, running or a myriad of other interests, but the point is – there’s something in life that excites you and gets you up. So focus on that, while you have to be there on the job. It could be starting an organization/office on campus, volunteering with a coach, or acting as a teaching assistant for a topic you really enjoy. You’re still interacting with students, which is the crux of any student affairs professional’s job, but it’s being done on your terms. Above all, it’s recognizing that there are ways to exercise control over what you do have control of, so don’t waste that power.


For People Who Battle Procrastination: Use It Wisely


procrastination, job search, happiness, waiting, passion, hate my job, love my job, stop procrastinating

There are no limits to what you can accomplish when you are supposed to be doing something else.

Tomorrow (noun) – a mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored.

Going to start studying at 3:00 p.m…. 3:05 p.m.: Missed it…4:00 p.m. it is.

 Due tomorrow? Do tomorrow.

Procrastination. Ah, yes, we’ve all been there: seven hours before the 8:00 a.m. due date of a 12-15 page paper that was casually started yesterday….night…while watching New Girl. Basically, the only content on the page is:



Course Title



In a handful of unique situations, procrastination may lead to successful completion of a task or project. Some research even says occasional procrastination isn’t all that bad. After all, procrastination is really just a matter of prioritizing and time management. However, whether it’s with chores, college assignments or work tasks, procrastination can be a significant hindrance in one’s reliability and performance. Habitual procrastinators are simply living through life’s experiences. Getting by. Surviving through it and hurriedly moving on to the next task.


Where’s the opportunity for creativity? Where’s the opportunity to evaluate?


Allotting the appropriate amount of time to accomplish a goal opens a gateway for creativity. More time to complete the basic criteria gives one the chance to take a second, maybe third, look at the finished product while considering alternative and creative ways to express the ultimate point. Going that extra mile can sometimes be the difference between a B+ and an A from a professor, or the difference between “Thanks” and “This is great work, thank you!” from a supervisor. For example, getting a head start on the job search will give you the time and patience you need to obtain a job that’s a right fit for you. Starting in advance means you have more time to network with potential connections, more time to search postings and company profiles and more time to explore the various opportunities and avenues available to you such as unconventional job search strategies.

Getting started on a project early also gives one the chance to edit and reconsider aspects of the work once the first draft or version is complete. Hurriedly sending an email to a job recruiter before the job application closes at midnight can lead to grammatical errors, incorrect information, and that embarrassing second email, “whoops, I forgot the attachment.” Now that’s an unfortunate first impression.

On the other hand, taking the time to sit down and craft an email that is clear, concise and correct can lead to tremendous opportunities. Starting ahead means that errors and contradicting points that would, perhaps, go unnoticed are realized and corrected before another set of eyes take a look.

Procrastination and the Job Search

A great example would be the infamous cover letter. If you’ve procrastinated submitting your credentials for a posting, chances are you’ll be submitting a classic, mundane cover letter complete with all the necessary points…the boring, inorganic necessary points. This will not wow a recruiter. In fact, the recruiter, who reads hundreds of cover letters, will immediately realize your disregard to crafting an authentic and unique cover letter specific to the company and, more importantly, the position. Taking the time to prepare a genuine cover letter shows care and interest.

An opportunity to review and evaluate the task in its final stages will show a professor or supervisor that the work was not done simply to check it off the list. It was a priority and that dedication should not go unnoticed. Evaluation provides details and avenues for improvement on future work, too, allowing one to grow and develop as a student or professional.

Procrastination can become a bad habit which can significantly affect the daily routine and attitude of a person. Once one task has been procrastinated, chances are many other important and sometimes time-sensitive priorities will follow suit. Habitual procrastination can become an unhealthy lifestyle and you won’t even realize what you’re missing. Procrastination means spending more money on vacations, taxes and other things. It means staying late at work to finish a project instead of going to happy hour with your buddies.

A popular phrase says, “A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.” Oh but it does. One person’s procrastination could seriously impact the way another person’s job or team assignment functions and then it becomes this huge, sour snowball effect full of irritated coworkers, annoyed supervisors and potentially negative reviews of the final work.

I won't sit here and pretend that I don't procrastinate because that could not be further from the truth. It is an exhilarating feeling working under pressure, under a deadline. That's the journalist in me. I will say, though, that  the key with procrastination is to use it productively. Consider the reason for procrastinating a task:

  1. I don’t feel like doing it.
  2. I have other things to do.
  3. It won’t be that difficult.
  4. It isn’t really time sensitive.

Consider who your procrastination might affect:

1. My boss.

2. My family/friends.

3. My teammates.

Then, evaluate and determine whether it is beneficial to put off the task. If it actually can wait, while allowing the opportunity and time for at least an evaluation before submission, then by all means, go on a Netflix binge of New Girl. Otherwise, do something today, right now even, that your future self will thank you for.