ZIGZAG 5: Managing Your Time | Dominik D'Entrecasteaux

Being 18 and leaving home, it’s been hard recently for me to manage my time properly: I found that I’d have to choose between going out and working far too often, and it was leading to some unhealthy and unproductive choices. For that reason, I thought I’d take this edition of ZIGZAG to reflect on that and share my experiences and thoughts with you.

It is so important that you keep in touch with friends, whether that be going out to the pub or staying in and watching a movie. But there’s a line which needs to be established, where you need to crack down and get organised. Running the admin side of !GWAK can be a big job: I found myself working in the small time which I had in between going out and seeing friends to write articles like this and recruit new creators, but this time slot method just meant that I felt less organised and anxious about when I was going to get time to work.

In reality, however, it’s a much better idea (for me at least) to sit down and plan exactly when and where I’m going out. And it’s also really important that I stick to it so that I build that habit and work on my self control as well as develop a reliable work ethic. I found that just scheduling things in my calendar app and setting alarms for when I needed to work was really beneficial, and it made me really think about how much time I spent working, whether or not I was burning myself out, and how much time I was going out.

There were points where I felt that this whole structure was far too rigid and it wasn’t allowing me to live my life to the fullest extent–which is a worry I’m sure some of you will also have–but I found that instead it allowed me to get on with work that I enjoy, and equally get out of the house a little, go for walks, see my friends etc. It meant that I was confident with my schedule and I knew what I was doing a week in advance.

It also meant that I was able to say no to less important things, and yes to things which I cared about and which I knew would present better, richer opportunities. It opens your schedule up and it means that you’re much more aware of the tasks that you’re taking on, which, in the long run, will make you more productive, and if you stick to the habit, will make your time spent, not only with friends but also whilst working, far more meaningful!

This is a long term process, though. I’ve had to learn to sort out my schedule over 2 years of running this collective, going from doing all of our services on my own to having an amazing team to help me, I’ve had to figure out how to transition from one period of work to another and keep myself motivated and consistently productive.

Some things that helped me to use the time I had to my advantage was putting my phone in another room or on the side where I can’t see it, setting it to “do not disturb” and removing any other distractions from my life. I also found that eating and sleeping properly (as simple as it sounds) had a visible impact on my productivity. If I didn’t get enough rest I’d be slow and unwilling to do anything, but since figuring out my limits and setting a clear schedule for the week, I’ve been able to combat any unhealthy practices much more swiftly.

If you’d like to have a chat about any of these topics, please feel free to message me on Facebook, Instagram or email me at dom.gwak@gmail.com - I’d love to have a conversation about how we can build better habits in our lives.

Big thanks to Will for helping me edit this one once again. You can find him on Instagram over at @willbakerillustrator!

Thanks guys, take care and see you next month!