Ten Rules for Effective Time Management (or, How I Ruin My Hobbies)

Ten rules in no particular order for dominating time and making your hobbies work for you.

Image of a clock counting down, on an abstract background.
Clocks are another example of time ill-spent. Stop looking at them.
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As some colleagues and mentors pointed out, the subtlety of this post may not resonate with everyone. Some of these rules you may have heard in a serious context. It's satire. #NotTheJoke

This list is in no particular order and assumes you already know rule 0: learn to code.

1. Do NOT under any circumstances give right of way to deprecated software. Fork your own, and maintain a spaghetti-strung together implementation of YOUR stack. Assert engineering dominance.

Reversal: Microsoft valiantly defended Internet Explorer as the browser of choice on every desktop, only to eventually wave the white flag and let Chromium power Microsoft Edge. Turns out, even tech giants can learn to compromise.

2. Details are EVERYTHING. Remember #1? Good, this is why. You know better than the software maintainers because of your attention to detail. This could slow you down, but it'll be worth it.

Reversal: Linux boldly defied perfectionism, opting for practicality and collaboration, and oh, look where that got them—widespread adoption and success. Who knew that "good enough" could be so… good?

3. Never get advice from peers, colleagues, or mentors. These people only slow you down. Instead, insist on learning everything the hard way. It's called character building.

Reversal: Erstwhile in Apple's early days, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak bounced ideas off each other and combined their unique strengths, disrupting the tech world in ways that made their competitors green with envy.

4. Reconsider any expenditures that aren't directly resulting in revenue. Especially vices, recreation, and "necessities" like health insurance or nutritional food.

Reversal: The Renaissance man himself, Leonardo da Vinci, juggled art, science, and personal well-being like a boss, proving that a well-rounded life is anything but a waste of time.

5. Turn that money pit into a goldmine! If you thought it was fun before, it could only get better with financial incentives.

Reversal: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web's very own Willy Wonka, chose not to monetize his golden ticket, showing that sometimes the real treasure is leaving a lasting impact on humanity.

6. Treat any spare moment as wasted cycles that could incur income. Start an ecom store. EVERYONE's doing it!

Reversal: Even Bill Gates, king of the tech hill, takes "think weeks" to read and reflect. It's like a software update for the brain, and the user agreement says you can't ignore it.

7. Anything you can do, ChatGPT can do more quickly. Train yourself to ChatGPT out all logic in your life, especially when struggling. That means you're learning, too!

Reversal: Sure, technology has perks, but there's no substitute for the simple human experiences that make life worth living. So go ahead, unplug, and embrace the joy of sharing a meme with friends IRL.

8. Any recurring income can go towards NEW avenues you've been pining to explore, especially ones you're not a spectacular fit for.

Reversal: Barack Obama showed us that focusing on personal strengths and growth while finding time to relax and maintain a work-life balance is the real presidential flex.

9. Write EVERYTHING down. No detail is too small for your eyes! Meeting engagement is overrated; you'd probably get the gist via email anyway.

Reversal: The vinyl record comeback and board game night fad remind us that sometimes tangible, non-digital experiences spark joy and forge lasting connections. So go ahead, roll the dice on some face-to-face fun.

10. Ignore all replication requests. Describing a result should be clear enough for anyone to draw the rest of the owl.

Reversal: Linux, the open-source operating system, harnessed the power of collaboration and sharing, becoming the poster child for progress and innovation. Turns out, teamwork makes the dream work.

Bonus: Get a second job! You will thrive in multiple full-time roles if you have spare hours after all of this.

Reversal:  Denmark's cooperative housing movement demonstrates that investing in people's well-being and fostering a sense of community creates a happier, more balanced society. Because, after all, success isn't just about the Benjamins.