It’s amazing how much content I want to write and upload to the blog. However, it’s equally amazing to me how busy I’ve been for the last year (give or take a few months). Before I write a little bit about this I’m compelled to write that I’m not one of these buffoons who humblebrags about how incredibly important they are because they are so busy with so much stuff going on. Come on – if you’re so pathetic that you need to humblebrag, then I pity you because you’ve probably been neglected by family and friends for a long period of time. And since this is the real world – nobody cares about your problems.
Moving on to the rest of this short blog…
I’ve taken to keeping a running list on my smartphone of the different topics and ideas that make me want to write blog entries. The list has gotten so long that I can’t actually post it here because it would take forever to refine my shortened thoughts into coherent, readable content. The same thing goes for my Feedly account – I have so many articles bookmarked to write about that to put them in any order would take several days. Often, I run into the same issue when I sit down to write a new blog entry; namely, that it takes me so long to put my thoughts in clear order that I give up on the whole enterprise.
That was the initial basis for writing this short entry – to note that while I have content seemingly coming out of my ears, I just haven’t been able to find the time to sit down and put it together for you to read. This prompted me to think about what it is that is keeping me so busy and how I might be able to manage that chaos. After thinking about the whole situation it turns out that my time crunch problem is rooted in two sources. First, as I’ve noted for years, my commute is an incredible killer of productivity (not to mention a growing detriment to my health). Spending more than two hours everyday sitting in traffic with nothing better to do than attempt to read bits and pieces of different articles between stop-go traffic is killing me in so many ways. If my commute were even just half of what it is now, then I would have an extra hour everyday to commit to doing anything that I wanted from writing more here to working out more to continuing to improve my new townhouse.
The second major cause of my limited availability in the last year has undoubtedly been the dramatic increase in adjunct teaching that I’ve experienced. Beginning in the Spring 2013 semester and carrying through the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters, I’ve been teaching two classes per semester at the local university. For the college student who read this, you probably think to yourself, “That’s nothing! I take 5 or 6 classes each semester!” And you’re right – in the grand scheme of things the hour and fifteen minutes that I spend standing in front of the classroom lecturing two to four times each week isn’t a great drain on my time… by itself. Collectively, though, those hours are hours that other people might argue I would better spend doing something else like focusing on growing my small businesses, improving my health, arranging my townhouse, etc. The time crunch that being an adjunct professor presented to my schedule reached a critical point during the last month, when I agreed to teach a 6-week summer session course. This was not a good idea on my part and I don’t think I’ll ever agree to teach a summer class again. For a guy who works full-time (including 10+ hours of commuting every week) and owns two successful small businesses that require his time, spending 3 hours and 45 minutes TWICE a week teaching a summer session course for 6 weeks just simply doesn’t work.
Agreeing to teach that course was a mistake that I made in my eagerness to pursue one of my passions (teaching and helping others) and I’ve learned that I can’t do that any more. Of course, now that the semester is over I’m coming into a different scenario that I really welcome: for the first time since Spring 2013, I’m not scheduled to teach any classes this coming fall semester! Between grading, class prep, driving to and from class, and in-person meetings – not being scheduled to teach this fall semester should save me around 3 – 4 hours per week. It’s great!
Anyway, these two core issues are what led me to realize that when I get home at night these days I often have an hour to an hour and a half of free time. In that free time, I have to manage my life (i.e. make dinner, clean the house, make lunch for the next day, do laundry, etc.) and there’s just no time left to sit down and create a thorough, high quality blog entry for my readers – or myself.
That may change with the pending free time that I have ahead of me after the class that I’m currently teaching ends on July 3rd. However, the truth is that my commute isn’t going anywhere any time soon and because of the absolutely ridiculous road construction schedule that the State of New Jersey is working right now, I expect that the commute isn’t even going to ease up as the summer goes along. In any event, I wrote this blog entry to put some thoughts out there about where I’ve been since my last blog entry and to explain the sparse updates from even before then. There is content coming – it’s just a matter of finding the time to prepare the content in a manner that is suitable for posting.