priorities and how i spend my time

Since I started simplifying, I’ve reflected a lot about how I spend my time and what I seem to value. I used to view my time as something to be scheduled, and that schedule to be followed rigidly because that’s-what-happens-in-life. I’ve made schedules for my time outside of school, but over and over I’ve found that I’m unable to follow them. Things unexpectedly arise all the time, and it’s really hard to follow something so restricting.

I want to spend time on things I value, and I know that it’s really difficult to focus on more than three priorities. In theory, my three favorite interests are writing, ballet, and sustainability.

However, I spend time on things that don’t really fit into my three areas of commitment that I’m not willing to give up. The biggest one is school. There’s also playing the piano, learning Chinese, and learning about psychology on my own. These are all things that I’m interested in, and I enjoy learning them. Also, even though I don’t list it as one of my three priorities, in reality, I put school at the top.

This is how it goes in practice:

School takes up a set amount of time on weekdays. I also have homework, of which I try to get as much as possible done during study hall. Sometimes I have more work than usual, which cuts into time spent on other things. Sometimes I have less than usual, which gives me more time to spend on other things. These other things are usually reading and the learning I do on my own.

Sustainability is a part of my lifestyle. I incorporate this into my life through things like reusing paper, and walking instead of riding the car. I’m also trying to consume more responsibly, so I spend a lot of time doing research on things I’m looking to buy. I also read blogs related to the subject.

Ballet takes up a set amount of time in class. Outside of class, I try to do some exercises, but sometimes I’m too tired or don’t have time to do them. I also read about ballet.

I hold writing really dear, but I don’t even get to do it that much. I have a writing journal but I don’t use it a lot. Occasionally, I’ll have a large block of time where I’ll get a lot of writing done. But often, other things take up so much time that I don’t even get to write.

Music isn’t one of my listed priorities, and that accurately reflects what place it has in my actual life. Sometimes I don’t practice the piano very much, and often I have to squeeze it into a time that is way too short. I really do enjoy music and playing the piano, but I’m not sure what to do about this. I’ve been trying to make it more of a priority after finishing schoolwork, but on weekdays sometimes I still don’t have the time.

I struggle to balance everything I do, and I’m not sure what to do, when I have all these interests. I think I might have to look at it a different way, instead of trying to group everything into the three priorities. I’ll keep thinking about this. What are your thoughts? Any tips, ideas, suggestions?

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