DAY 18: you think YOU’RE busy? (part 1)

Posted: Jul 24, 2006

Blog

Busy week.  I’m swamped with the day job, and it’s hard finding the time to write everyday.  I think now is as appropriate as ever to post this…

One of the biggest problems that I’m having right now is finding the TIME to practice, write music, record, perform, promote, while having a full-time job, taking care of the everyday stuff, being single, etc. But I recently got some great advice that’s too good to keep to myself.  I want you to hear this story from a guy named Steve and then come back and tell me you’re still too busy.  ‘Cause after reading it, I had no choice but to shut up and get to work. 

So here’s Steve’s story.  There’s a whole lot of good stuff here, so I gotta break it up into several days…

“Do It Now”

When going to college many years ago, I decided to challenge myself by setting a goal to see if I could graduate in only three semesters, taking the same classes that people would normally take over a four-year period. This article explains in detail all the time management techniques I used to successfully pull this off.

In order to accomplish this goal, I determined I’d have to take 30-40 units per semester, when the average student took 12-15 units. It became immediately obvious that I’d have to manage my time extremely well if I wanted to pull this off. I began reading everything I could find on time management and putting what I learned into practice.

I accomplished my goal by graduating with two Bachelor of Science degrees (computer science and mathematics) in just three semesters without attending summer school. I slept seven to eight hours a night, took care of my routine chores (shopping, cooking, etc), had a social life, and exercised for 30 minutes every morning. In my final semester, I even held a full time job (40 hours a week) as a game programmer and served as the Vice Chair of the local Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) chapter while taking 37 units of mostly senior-level computer science and math courses.

My classmates would add up all the hours they expected each task to take and concluded that my weeks must have consisted of about 250 hours. I graduated with a 3.9 GPA and also received a special award given to the top computer science student each year. One of my professors later told me that they had an easy time selecting the award recipient once it became clear to them what I was doing.

I wasn’t considered a gifted child, and this was the first time I had ever done anything like this. I didn’t have any personal mentors helping me, I didn’t know of anyone who’d done anything like this before, and I can’t recall a single person encouraging me to do it. In fact, most people were highly discouraging of the idea when I told them about it. This was simply something I decided to do for myself.

Most of the time I kept quiet about what I was doing, but if someone asked me how many units I was taking, I didn’t deny it. I was perhaps the only student at the university with a two-page class schedule, so it was easy to prove I was telling the truth if anyone pressed me, but rarely did I ever do so. I didn’t tell you this story to impress you but rather to make you curious as to how I did it. I pulled this off by applying time management concepts that most people simply didn’t know but that were readily available in books and audio programs at the time (1992-93).

The time management habits I learned in college have served me very well in building my business, so I want to share them with you in the hopes that you’ll find them equally valuable. They allowed me to shave years off my schooling while also giving me about $30,000 to start my business (all earned in my final semester as a game programmer, mostly from royalties)…

Not bad huh? So starting tomorrow, I’ll show you the best of what I’ve learned from Steve about mastering time management, so that you too can get a record deal (or whatever it is you want) faster than you ever thought possible…

P.S. If you want more info on Steve, check out his blog

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