If You’re Going to Waste Time, At Least Waste it Usefully

When my oldest was young he decided he wanted to be a computer programmer. Now, in a high school presentation on careers, his task was to choose a career, and describe the path to get there. Of course, he chose game developer.

He has reached the age where present choices directly affect future prospects, so we have conversations about exactly what he needs to do to realize his dream. Toward this, he asked me to get him up earlier.

He knows I get up 45 minutes before him, and that I devote that time to me things. He wants to do the same.

So far, what he mostly does with the extra time is play video games. I wish the process of learning to make that time useful were a little quicker, but there is too much of me in him.

When my mental state is poor the gap times are the hardest. If I have no great task to do, any spare minutes devolve into uselessness where I play games on my phone.

They serve as a method of control to keep my mind occupied, away from my problems, so I play games where I create order, like Parking Jam.

Recently I’ve been trying to use those empty spaces to do something useful. Now in the gaps I write, or record videos, or listen to podcasts and trainings.

Using the gaps has the benefit of diverting my attention from my depression. Using the gaps usefully had added benefits. It makes my writing better writer, and it’s more fun, so I want to do it more.

I’ve created a virtuous cycle that has the further benefit of pushing me closer to my ultimate goal of becoming independent of my engineering career.