Life

How to Effectively Plan Your Time Off by Prioritizing Big Tasks Over Small Ones

  Many, many years ago, when New York City was in financial difficulty, when the winter was particularly cold, public schools would suddenly declare a holiday for a week, known as a “gas-saving holiday.” The real purpose was to lower the school heating temperature that week and save money. A lot of money to buy diesel.
  There was a fifteen or sixteen-year-old boy who came home and told his father that he was on holiday to save fuel.
  ”With one week’s leave, plus the Saturdays and Sundays before and after, there are nine days’ leave in total. Do you have any plans?” the boy’s father asked.
  ”I knew you would ask me this question.” The boy said proudly: “I have already thought about it. First, I have to prepare my homework, because there will be an exam the next day after the holiday. Second, I want to go to the library I want to borrow a world famous book from the library. Third, I want to chat with my classmates and watch a movie.”
  ”Great!” His father nodded and rewarded the boy with twenty dollars.
  Six days later, the boy suddenly asked his mother to drive him to the library. His father heard this and asked, “Are you going to return the book you just borrowed?”
  ”It’s not returning the book, it’s borrowing a new one.” The boy shouted, “I want to write a paper to participate in the selection of the ‘Westinghouse Science Award'” Report, I need to borrow a lot of reference books!”
  His mother quickly took him to the library. I just went around in a circle and didn’t borrow two books, because the important books were borrowed by others first. They had no choice but to go to the bookstore to buy it, which cost them more than a hundred dollars.
  The boy used the remaining two days of holidays to read and write non-stop. Finally, he finished writing a report on Monday morning, took a nap, and rushed to school to submit it.
  After school that day, when they heard the boy come in, his father, mother and grandma all hurriedly told him to eat something and go to bed. But the boy frowned and said, “I can’t sleep! I have to prepare for tomorrow’s exam.”
  His father jumped up and asked, “Didn’t you prepare as soon as the holiday came?”
  ”Yes!” the boy said with a sad face, “But, after I almost forgot about it for a week.”
  The story is over, is it funny or not? Who do you think that little boy is? It’s my son!
  Do you think it was smart for him to plan a nine-day vacation like that? not smart!
  Why! Because he did not prioritize things and did not divide time into “big time” and “small time.” Think about it, if he can go to the library to borrow books as soon as he is on vacation, borrow reference books for writing reports and recreational novels at once, read the reference books first, and spend six or seven days writing the report, chatting with classmates and watching the show Wouldn’t it be much better to watch movies, read novels to relax, and then use the two days closest to the exam to prepare for the exam?
  His mistake was that he used a large and complete time to do small things, but waited until “things came to pass” before using the limited two days to make a big report. How can something driven out like this win a prize? How can I get good results if I prepare for the exam without sleep for several days?
  To give another example –
  one year I took my wife on a trip to Denmark and arrived in Copenhagen at noon. The tour guide said that we had free time in the afternoon, pointed out the locations of art galleries and amusement parks, and asked everyone to decide where to go. We rushed to the art museum immediately after lunch. It was already dusk when we came out, so we went to the amusement park and had dinner there.
  At dinner, I met some friends from the same group. They asked me where I went. I said I went to an art museum and showed them some information. I saw them passing around, looking very envious, and discussing whether they would still have time tomorrow morning. The problem is that the museum does not open until 10 o’clock the next day, and the tour group will leave for Norway at 9:30.
  Later I found out that they were wandering around the art shops near the hotel in the afternoon and missed the time to go to the art museum. And when I went to the store after dinner, I actually bought a string of amber with worms on it for my wife and a “puzzle building block” for my daughter. I saw nothing less than them.
  The next day, when the tour bus drove past the art museum, I saw only a few people shaking their heads and sighing. Tell me, why did they miss the opportunity? Because they failed to seize the “big time” to visit art museums, but did “small time” (browsing stores) during the “big time”.
  There is a saying in China – “It’s hard to kill a chicken with an ox’s knife.” It’s just that many people make the mistake of “killing a chicken with a bull’s knife” when using their time. When it was time to kill the cow, he found that only the knife used to kill the chicken was left. So when you have some time off, don’t rush through the small stuff. Stop and think about how many big things require “a lot of time” to complete. Get those big things done first!

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