by: mathurah

realizing how I want to best spend my time

getting closer to afternoons of whimsy

A big part of my early 20s is making right and wrong decisions, and slowly getting clarity on how I want to spend my time, and what truly brings me joy.

Getting closer to discovering this truly feels like I'm hacking life.

meeting new people

I found that meeting at least 1-3 people a week gives me a lot of joy - I feel so energized after a lot of these conversations and hearing new perspectives inspires me. "Meeting" people could mean different things - from a few conversations exchanged back and forth with a new friend on twitter, to randomly striking a conversation with someone I find interesting at an event, or grabbing coffee with someone IRL (as obviously, having all these as separate coffee chats/zoom meetings would be unsustainable).

Meeting 1-3 people a week isn't really a hard goal I set for myself in any way, but it just sort of happens naturally. Being open to a new friend creates a lot of serendipity for the future, that never would've been possible otherwise. So I always try to reply to a DM if I can and make time for it. Of course, every meeting doesn't turn into something, but there are a few internet strangers who have become one of my best friends today, and I've worked on projects with them, because of this.

1:1s or small groups

I realized I don't really love hanging out in large groups. I prefer 1:1 conversations a lot more, or groups of a maximum of 4 people. This is something I learned as I got older. I used to envy large friend groups and wished I was always a part of one, but the grass is always greener on the other side. I much prefer a small circle of people that know me really well, and truly care about each other.

Big groups are still fun - for picnics, parties, or if you bring people together who have a shared interest (i.e a writing club), but for day-to-day hangouts, this is what I prefer.

start my day being active

I think almost every new years resolution, I told myself I would go to a gym and start working out, but I don't think I've ever made it past two weeks, until now.

No matter what, things always got in the way. A homework assignment, an interview, a social thing, until I finally carved out time in the morning every single day, when my time's untouchable. Now, I can't imagine my morning without some sort of physical activity. I've been waking up before 7am almost every morning to go to the gym, and it feels so therapeutic. When my job or school is stressful, spending time in the morning decompressing without thinking about anything else really makes a difference.

do the hardest things in the morning

I've seen this said before. Otherwise, you'll just procrastinate it. I find I have much more energy in the morning to get the hard, ambiguous tasks out of the way.

explore and synthesize, and repeat.

I'm still figuring out the right mixture of this, but I want my time to be split between exploring & having conversations, balanced with times of solitude, creativity, and synthesizing all that I've learned. I find that talking to people about what I'm working on helps me figure out my blindspots and keeps me in the right headspace, and consistently having alone time also helps spark my creative output. It's actually good to be bored.

Neel Nanda has a blogpost here where he calls his Sunday afternoons "afternoons of whimsy" and dedicates that time for pure play, exploration, and working on projects he's passionate about. I like to carve out a weekend morning completely dedicated to looking at interesting things on are.na or spending a morning at a cafe writing.

dinners are for social periods

I want to use dinner times to catch up with friends, roommates, significant others to eat good food, and spend time with good company. It doesn't happen every day of the week, but I try to do this at least 3 times a week. Once I have a family of my own someday, I hope to have dinner every day with my family.

meetings early in the morning

I really like early coffee meetings. A friend told me that he does this as a strategy to get him out the door early, and I really enjoy it as well. And most people that do this with me, are excited enough to talk to me that they're willing to do it first thing in the morning, so it ends up being a good conversation on both ends. I also find that I walk out of a lot of these conversations inspired and energized, and feel excited to spend part of my day taking action on some of the tidbits they shared.

writing/creating something every week

I like to walk away from a week feeling that I've (1) either learned something new - about a subject or about myself (2) and produced some creative output. This doesn't have to be a published blog post, but at least putting some words to a written draft is enough. it's fun, and I love making more artifacts for me to look back upon :)

other similar threads on this I've seen:

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