Anime Addicts Anonymous and the Difficulties of Time Management

Kai of deluscar kindly asked me to participate in a project discussing anime and time management.  The prompt, as quoted by Kai, describes this as “…a project where everyone can share how [they] manage their time efficiently, juggling between studies, work and anime…” I always find joint projects like this (like the recent Carnival discussing anime rating) a lot of fun since it not only helps me out when I run dry on inspiration, but it also creates a ton of collaboration between writers and readers.

This topic is a bit sore for me since I follow the non-schedule schedule.  There is no efficiency involved.  I can plan all I want for a healthy, structured day, but I almost never follow through on the idea.  That isn’t to say that I don’t want to control my life a bit more; I just let my hobbies and part-time job steamroll the things I really ought to be doing.

On average, five days a week, I work a part-time job in the evening.  This can last anywhere between four to six hours.  Despite the short hours, I make just enough to cover my rent, bills, and living expenses.  The problems in scheduling are the hours all around.  Too tired to even consider working on my Master’s thesis after work, I come home and inhale any and all food I can get my hands on, catching up on my anime and blogging until the very late hours of the morning (sometimes as late as 6 o’clock).  My nocturnal activities result in a very late wake up, no earlier than noon.  My grand plans to write are usually eclipsed by my greater desire to watch even more anime, all the way until the time that I have to get ready for work once more.  It’s an addictive and non-productive cycle.

Like anything, watching anime to excess can be quite destructive, as I’ve sadly discovered.  Currently, I find more joy in writing about anime than I do in my thesis topic.  This is a serious problem for someone who wants nothing more than to finish graduate school and move out of the state in which I’ve lived my whole life! So I’ll take this moment to set out some goals for myself:

  1. Set a productive daily schedule!
    1. Wake up at 10:00 AM and have breakfast as soon as possible
    2. Go work out, mostly cardio, until noon
    3. Lunch and play with my pup
    4. Work on my thesis for 2-3 hours
    5. Part-time job
    6. Dinner+anime+blogging
    7. Get my butt to sleep no later than 2:00 AM
  2. Finish my thesis in time for a spring defense and a May 2012 graduation
  3. Work off some body weight by May, in time for my cousin’s wedding (aim: 130 lbs.)
  4. Attend my very first con, Anime Expo, in June
  5. Jump into the adult working life >.<

Yeah.  It’s a lot to focus on.  Right now, I’ll start with the very first and hopefully that will naturally result in the next two! Lend me your support, okay?

Check out these other participants:

36 thoughts on “Anime Addicts Anonymous and the Difficulties of Time Management

  1. I understand where you’re coming from regarding writing for your blog and writing for school. The former is much more enjoyable, satisfying, and lacks significant pressure while the latter feels like unpleasant work. Ran into that problem myself a number of times already but more with exams than papers or the like. I’m sure everyone has that problem, too, and from a few of the other posts I’ve read, it’s quite common. Really enjoyed reading these time management posts and it’s nice to see how everyone deals with this universal issue. Good luck with all your goals this next few months! Also, great choice in pictures!

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    • I just hope forcing myself to write doesn’t make me hate the act, but love it. I know that mantra about practice–acting it out has proven much harder than I ever thought! I’ve been in school for soooo long: undergrad for four years, then graduate school for four years. I’m starting to wonder if life really does exist outside of the university system :p

      I’ll have to read up on the other posts, and I’m sure I’ll find a lot of overlapping problems with time management. Thanks for dropping by with a comment, as well as wishing me luck on my goals! The pictures took me a while to pick since I wanted to choose a character associated with time, yet still had enough fan art out there to fit the tone of my post.

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  2. I remember back in the days when I actively played MMOs. Even though I had scheduled events in the evening in which I would play with my group, I would often find myself getting online first thing in the morning or playing when I shouldn’t have been. Usually it resulted in a neglect in studies and whatever else I should have been working on. A destructive hobby for sure.

    Currently, I’m a lot better about taking care of my school stuff before my hobbies, but the problem I’m facing is that I don’t have the time or the motivation to do as much as I’d like. So I’m still trying to find the balance between the two.

    Anyway, I hope you find a comfortable balance between anime and finishing your thesis. Also, I pray that you are eventually able to accomplish all five of those goals! ^_^

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    • I’ve always steered clear of MMOs for that very same reason. I remember a ton of my friends playing WoW back when I was an undergrad, and telling me that I would like it, but I knew I would probably lose control and so didn’t even try. I did have some games I liked playing, but none of them had that addictive quality to them.

      Motivation is the issue here, though time is not. If I could just scale my hobbies back a bit, I would have plenty of time to accomplish my goals. Thanks for sharing your own experience, Myst🙂 And for the well wishes!

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  3. What you’re experiencing right now is so similar when I was an undergrad. I used to study full-time and work part-time, however, our main difference is I can’t keep up with anime, like I’m literally watching only two series in one year. I was also unaware of the aniblogosphere because of my busy schedule. But now that I’m done with school, I’m able to insert blogging on my timeline. Now I’m thinking, if I pursue my masters, I will most likely drop blogging.

    Btw, I wish you all the luck and best with your studies and goals.

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    • I’m kinda embarrassed that I’m acting up in my grad years, when I was such a good manager of time as an undergrad student. This is also the first time that I’ve had to work at the same time as studying just to pay off tuition and the cost of living. In the past I had summer jobs and my TAship to cover everything. Since I’ve fulfilled my TAship, money is a bit more difficult to come by.

      Regardless, I hope you don’t stop blogging even if you do start grad school. I don’t actually update that often, maybe 4-5 times a month. I don’t think it’s the actual blogging that takes up my time, but just the watching of anime. I don’t know how time intensive your own blogging is, but I think the quality of your writing is a good skill to keep practicing.

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  4. That’s a terrible sleeping pattern but I know where you are coming from. I also work nights and sometimes once I get home I will stay up late on the internet. If you can follow that schedule for even a week you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to edit you sleeping pattern.

    Good luck with the thesis, hope you can get it done in time.

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    • I tried fixing my sleep schedule by forcing myself to sleep earlier, but it doesn’t really help if I don’t force myself to also wake up at the same time every day. I’m terrible when it comes to getting out of bed at a normal time. It’s too easy to just roll over, pull my laptop towards me, and watch anime or browse the Internet. Thanks for wishing me luck, Ace🙂

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  5. This post has shed a light on two things for me:
    A: I thought you were different than I am but you also follow a non-schedule schedule. high Five Dood!
    B: For Pete’s sake, I REALLY need to watch Rick Steiner’s Gate before it becomes too mainstream and loses my interest. For so many to have revered it, it HAS to be epic.

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    • Haha! I’m glad someone is pleased with my lack of scheduling.
      And whether or not Steins;Gate succeeds enough to be considered “mainstream” doesn’t change the quality of the anime. You shouldn’t let something like public opinion of it sway your interest. That’s like punishing it for getting everything right.

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      • I guess not. I have to tackle it eventually. After all, I skipped Code GEASS, Death Note and the like but I acknowledge their greatness…yet have no interest of watching them. Frankenstein’s Gate is still young so it’s not too late.

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  6. Huzzah for fellow nocturnal and spontaneous brethren!

    I don’t know why I like staying up so late, but for some reason it just feels like it’s the “right” time do stuff when it’s dark out. That and I feel like mashed potatoes on crack in the morning. I hate mornings SO much.

    It’s harder for me to manage my time nowadays than it used to be. Back when I started blogging seriously, my gaming habit kind of died out. I didn’t really feel like walking away from my computer to play on the consoles at all. But then a few months later I got a computer that wasn’t crap and dove right back in to gaming as a reborn PC gamer.
    I still managed my time decently well between anime, blogging, school, and games (though I occasionally skewed heavily towards one more than others), but now that Old Republic is out and the TERA betas are going on, it’s a pain to manage it all again. I’m sure after a bit I’ll manage to find my equilibrium, though; I always do. Then I can crush it again. It’s like I’m unconsciously masochistic or something.

    Good luck sticking to a schedule though! Knowing me, I’d follow it for a day, and then immediately break it the next.

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    • There really is something so alluring about the night. I feel like it’s the best time to run wild through the Internet, and the majority of my blog entries are posted while everyone else is sleeping. Mornings, in comparison, can take a hike.

      (but I still love breakfast food)

      My boyfriend is also immersed in Old Republic, though he has recently stopped his subscription. Gaming, like anime, is extremely time consuming, maybe even more so. At least with anime, I have a clear stopping point at the end of the average 25-minute episode. With a video game, I could go on and on and on.

      Thanks for sharing your own issues with scheduling, and here’s to us both finding satisfying routines🙂

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      • I’m no longer in school and so I have free reign to stay up late even if I work early the next day (which is very often the case). It’s easy to call it a bad habit but as you guys said, something feels so natural about being nocturnal.

        Anyway, I’ve had this discussion with friends online and off, and it seems that I fall right in the middle of spectrum. I don’t watch as much anime as other people I’ve encountered but I still watch enough not to fall behind on some simulcasts and maintain steady progress on my watchlist.

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      • As nervous as I am about transitioning between the studying life and the working one, I think once I get into a regular routine of a job with pay and benefits, I’ll be able to better manage and support my necessities and hobbies. That seems to be the case with you, despite your nocturnal lifestyle.

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  7. Studying and working can be very taxing, I understand that. I was working full time and studying part time for my postgraduate degree and boy, I don’t have time for anything else. All I remember was going to work in the morning, attending night classes on certain days, working on my assignments on other days, more readings on weekends and slot in an episode of anime before bedtime. I didn’t blog back then.

    But hey, you set yourself some goals now and yes, I lend you my support!

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    • I probably should scale back the anime and blogging if I’m going to finish any time soon. I just wish I had found anime earlier; I think if I had been exposed to it at a younger age I wouldn’t be so crazy out-of-control now. But, that’s probably me just being delusional :p

      Thanks for your support!

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  8. Good luck, Marina! You’ve got a lot on your plate. Keep us up on your progress! Also, we’ll forgive you if you don’t blog as regularly for a while during the whole thesis submission/graduation time.😉

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  9. I’ve been offline for quite a while, but I’m kinda back.

    I gotta say I’d assumed you were older and lived a rather structured life based on your blogs. You just bring such a mature style to them.

    Good luck with all of those goals. I’m actually aiming to be in better shape by May myself. So we have a shared goal. Mines more fitness based than weight though.

    Schedule wise I’ve always been all over the map. Including 50 hour days when I first got MSN. (my social anxiety made me unwilling to stop a convo so as long as someone was talking I couldn’t leave) These days I go to sleep about midnight and wake up between 4 and 8.

    Well I guess I’ll stop rambling. Just wanted to support a great blogger.

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    • Oh, wow! I haven’t heard from you in ages🙂 Welcome back (even if you’re only “kinda” back :p )

      Well, I feel kinda old at 25, since almost all my high school friends are married, have kids, or settled in with their routine jobs. I’m still playing around in grad school and telling myself that I don’t want children for at least 10 more years! Here’s to us both achieving our fitness goals *thumbs up*

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  10. You had already made a pretty good schedule for yourself. I pray for your success that you can follow through to the end with it^^ Jumping into the adult working life might be foiled all your plans though, you would probably get used to it overtime. I had pretty much gotten used to my 6-hour sleep😀 If I need to catch up with my sleep, I’ll mostly just sleep more in the weekends.

    Btw, I apologize I didn’t saw your post earlier. I didn’t see the pingback on my blog D:

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    • It’s all cool–though it probably would have been best to just link everyone who was participating and then update the link to the actual post when they were written, that way no one would be left out. Next time!

      I’m….working on my schedule :p The morning routine is the hardest thing. I’m just so anti-morning despite honestly wanting to run.

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  11. Haha, your first paragraph! It’s so exact to how I feel about time management, especially in terms of blogging (but also in terms of everything). When I first saw the topic Kai sent out, my initial reaction was “time management? what time management?”

    I like the idea of making a schedule though. Personally, I try to make loose checklists of things I must get done everyday, and check them off as I get through each item. It helps… just a little bit.

    Btw. Good luck with your thesis. ^ ^

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    • I think check lists are great for finishing goals. I’m not a huge list maker or anything, but I get a surprising degree of satisfaction being able to cross an item off my list that has been completed. And thanks, again! I’m working on it🙂

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  12. This reminds me of the nightmarish days in primary school when my parents would force a time table on me and force me to carry it out. Ultimately, it didn’t help and was only traumatic.
    I can never understand how people stick to schedules, I rarely plan my day and if I do, I never fully carry out my plan. I tend to pull through deadlines some way or another, despite my sloppiness.

    Good luck trying to schedule, but I honestly doubt you will pull through.

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    • Why thank you, negativity :p
      I never had time tables pushed on me when I was younger, so I actually respond really well to them these days. It’s especially helpful to set deadlines for myself, not just long term deadlines, but smaller ones that create a manageable schedule. It may not work for you, but it does for others.

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  13. You’re still young! Though it’s funny all the reasons you list for feeling old actually make me feel younger. I see all of them married and and having kids and I’m still kinda being a kid.

    And lol after my sister’s kids I decided I don’t want any. Nicknamed her oldest birth control in fact.

    I’m already feeling a difference physically. The first day I couldn’t finish what I had to do. Now I’m struggling, but making it to the end. Bad news is that I’m suddenly under pressure to not only be in shape by next month, but to face a huge fear. I’m so glad I don’t stress until the last second. Though if they have their way I’m likely to have a full fledged panic attack when it hits lol.

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    • It’s weird. Sometimes they make me feel old because I start looking at my body and wondering if by the time I’m ready to have children, my body no longer should. And then, like you say, some days I feel like a kid who just will never grow up. :p

      That’s great that you’re already noticing a difference from your routine! I’m curious about whatever fear it is that you’re talking about, but whatever is, I hope you beat it!

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  14. I wouldn’t worry about it. You’ll be fine having kids whenever you’re ready too and they’ll appreciate you’re childlike side.

    Thanks. I hope you are doing well with yours too. I read in your other comment you wanna get stronger and in your blog you mentioned being 20 pounds over your ideal bmi weight. I’m curious what exactly your goal is. It seems like you honestly just wanna get fit, but also have looks in mind.

    Ask and you shall receive! Lol. I have a rather severe case of social anxiety disorder and I’m being pressured to perform in front of a crowd.

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  15. This looks very much like my schedule a couple of years ago, minus the work. When I realized I was going to be starting at college the next semester, I barely managed to shift my sleep schedule by getting up early, being a zombie for the rest of the day, and going to bed early. Somehow it worked, but I definitely got lucky, since I had days with no obligations (as not many do).

    Of course, I still have a very non-schedule thing going on…my class-load and part-time job sort of determine my free time at the moment. I dread to think what’ll happen when I go full-time in the fall…

    I realize this was like, two months ago, but best of luck to you, especially with #5 there. Keep it up!

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    • Thanks for the support! I’m still working on my goals, though I am happy to report that I should be able to defend my thesis in early to mid June🙂 After that, I am to get a “real” job somewhere outside of this state where I grew up >.<

      Like

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