So Little to Do, So Much Time – “Good” Stress, Time Management and Goals

stress on the bench

We’ve all heard the tired phrase – So much to do, so little time!

Well, having so much time and so little to do is just as draining and unproductive. In recent months, I’ve felt a weird mixture of both and I don’t like it. Having plenty of time but very little to do bores me to no end – I sink into apathy and find it difficult to resurface.

On the flipside, having too many tasks and not enough hours means rushing through tasks. I stop paying proper attention and become sloppy.

That’s what I’ve experienced with most of my projects lately. Sloppiness. I’m pretty sure even this blog post could be better but right now I don’t really care.

My greatest task, however, has been tackling the monster that is JavaScript. I’m not talking about doing a few hours here and there. I’m not talking about “Oh, I’ll give it a try…” I mean that I’ve actually been learning how to program in f***ing JavaScript.

Only now, in the last few weeks, has the penny truly dropped in terms of actually understanding the logic behind it. Before this year, I never really tackled coding proper (though I am a whizz at HTML & CSS). I’ve been following a Web Development course from CareerFoundry. So, I have a curriculum of tasks to follow. Its flexible but structured.

Now, after all those weeks of grinding through JS exercises, I have a backlog of course tasks to complete. Yeah, I’ve progressed in my understanding and fluency of JS. However, I’ve not actually progressed on the course itself.

Why? Because I was learning f***ing JavaScript.

In my limited experience, learning your first programming language means a lot of repetition. A LOT. I couldn’t just fly through the tasks on my course, have them approved and then forget about them. I wanted to be comfortable with everything, from data types to functions to functional programming (which still stumps and confuses me… unfortunately).

And loops.

I hate loops.

javascript for loop code
Oh, for God’s sake just DIE! (Yes, I’m aware I screenshot the cursor…)

Good Stress, Time Management and Keeping Your Goals in Mind

I’ll be frank with you: this blog post, for once, is mainly for my own benefit. However, I’m sure it can still be of use to all of you. That’s what I want to talk about three things: Good Stress, Time Management and Keeping Your Eye on the Goal.

So, first things first: What is good stress?

It’s the kind of stress which motivates you to get things done. It gives you slight anxiety, pushing you to finish a project and do it right at the same time. This was something I experienced often in my last job. I worked on a project but had a deadline. Instead of going down a rabbit hole (as I am wont to do), I cut out the unnecessary or extraneous steps and focused on the points I had to deliver.

Guess what? I didn’t do half a bad job. I wasn’t 100% happy with it but it was good enough.

Good stress ties in with time management. Good stress forces you to implement more effective time management. Focus on priorities. Right now, I have the following priorities:

  • Finish the heap of JavaScript tasks I have left on my actual course.
  • Develop my personal brand.
  • Keep up my job search, get as many interviews as possible.
  • FINISH THE DAMN COURSE

In many countries, finding a job would be top priority. We all need to eat. I am lucky enough, however, to live in a country with excellent social security.

counting money
That I PAID FOR, might I add. 600 euro a month went from my pay checks toward unemployment insurance.

So, finishing my course is top priority. Of course, in order to keep receiving an income I must be seen to be making an effort to apply for a job. My job search therefore continues to run in the background. It’s something I spend 1-2 hours a day on. That doesn’t just include applying for jobs. It means engaging on social networks, going to networking events etc (which I find difficult, being something of a recluse).
That also ties in with another “background” activity: developing personal brand. Which also ties in with this blog. Of course, this blog isn’t all about me. It’s about helping others develop skills and find remote/flexible jobs particularly within digital media. That’s my own, separate online marketing project which, admittedly, I haven’t really put that much effort into (because of f***ing JavaScript!).

NOTE: I did actually get a link the other month, though. Yay! Yes, I’ve acquired many backlinks in my career, but it’s been a while since my last link-building gig. Glad to see I’ve still got it!

So Then, What Now?

Well, I’m going for a walk first. I’m in Ireland right now and the house is right by the sea. After, I’ll actually edit this post and post it. After, I’ll apply for jobs (I found a nice bunch of gigs) and then… Well, the rest of the week will involve refreshing myself on JavaScript.
F***ing JavaScript (actually, now that I understand it, I quite enjoy it).

Author: TheFinalMonsoon

Liam is a digital strategist and copywriter, passionate about the fast-paced world of digital media and remote working. See his portfolio at liamhennessy.co

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