For a while now I’ve been struggling with productivity, effectiveness and making use of your time, all the time. Being as productive as possible all the time and becoming better and better. What we probably all want when you are looking at a blog with this title.

And to be honest, we cannot be productive all the time. We cannot always focus on output. We need to rest. But how do you rest? As a guy who watched almost every popular television show with a little depth (hello Mad Men), I like to binge watch TV shows. Is that the best way? Probably not. Because time is going to take so much away. It will never come back. But you can offer time a trade.

Sounds familiar? Nice. This means you are familiar with Jeffrey Lewis’ ‘Time Trades.’ I started to love this song a while ago, when I was struggling with this problem. How do you relax, but also make the best out of your time? By trading time for something nice.

The chorus inspires me the most probably:

“You gotta do something that you can get smarter at,
You gotta do something you might just be a starter at,
You better do something that you can get better at
‘Cause that’s the thing that time will leave you with.”

The simplicity is inspiring.

For me I would like to trade my time with playing on my guitar or on my ukulele. In both I am still a beginner (<2 years), but the reward is big. I love to play and I love to see my own progress.

Another way to trade my time would be to read. The insights from Meditations‘ help me in my work as a PhD student and the insights from the Hitchhikers Guide good on a whole other level.

Enjoy the song. Look up the lyrics. Find other versions. And what I can recommend: try to play it yourself. I’m going back to playing my Uke, and I will play this song.

So I’ve decided recently.

To try to trade more decently.

As always, the Index Card. By the way, to throw a little right hook: I would love some Instagram love. I am not sure how many people can actually read my handwriting, but let me know. For a change I embedded the Instagram post here, so giving some love (or a reaction!) is more easy.

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