Scheduling Fun in a Full Day

Jul 20, 2018 | Posted by Nick


“Wait. You work nearly thirty hours a week and you’re in school?!” While attending school full time, I also work for IEW remotely. As a common small talk question, peers often ask me if I have a job. After answering their question, they typically give me the same shocked response. Personally, I think it’s no great feat. Plenty of people have done it before me, and they work even more hours than I do. Yet as I was brainstorming for a good blog post topic, my boss and friend Kristin Boutross suggested that I explain how I balance work and school.

When I was younger, Mr. Pudewa took a group of us through the Victus Study Skills System to teach us study and time management skills. If my memory serves me well, Mr. Pudewa explained that he had once been tasked to document every waking minute of his time, writing down exactly what he did. After explaining this to the class, he tasked us to do the same, but was gracious enough to extend it to fifteen-minute time periods instead of one-minute increments. By the end of the exercise, I realized where I actually spent my time. I was shocked to see how much time I actually wasted in one day.

This lesson still sticks with me today. Although I am nowhere near perfect nor do I always use my time wisely, I am now more aware of just how capable I am of slacking off. I know how lazy I actually am, and the challenge to spend my time wisely is a daily one. I know that I am capable of staying in bed all day, glued to my phone or laptop. Yet, I also know that I would feel disgusted with myself if I were to do so.

But Mr. Pudewa, using Victus, taught me the importance of scheduling “me time,” when I get to do something fun. If I don’t schedule it out, I find myself trying to have fun when I should be getting things done. I’ll spend a few minutes here and a few minutes there, which will eventually add up to an unacceptable amount of time wasted. By scheduling my fun, I’m better able to accomplish all of my tasks.

When the beginning of a new semester rolls around, I begin to create my schedule. One of the most fundamental and crucial rules of scheduling for me is to prioritize. That being said, my primary focus, a focus that is drilled into my head by my gracious supervisors, is school. So, I take my school schedule and I put it on my calendar first. After that I create my work schedule around business hours and my class times and get approval from the boss. Sometimes I work late into the night after business hours to get everything done.

Like I mentioned before, I also need to schedule fun time for me. Although it may be impractical for many of you, I set aside 10:00 to 11:00 PM to spend at the gym. After I return home and shower, I can get to bed by 11:30. Another cherished window of time for me is the five to ten minutes I have after I’m home from class. I use this time to relax, eat, and get ready for work. This past semester, the best days were when I got out of class early and had a bigger window of time. Nap time!

Last semester I was also able to schedule approximately three hours of study time per day. College advisors generally recommend allotting two hours of study for every hour spent in class. For the best and most dedicated of students, this structured approach may work perfectly fine! For me, what worked best came down to what I consider the most important rule of scheduling: flexibility. You may think that being flexible would hurt you, but having flexibility allows me to make room for things that take me off guard. There have been several times where I would talk to my bosses and ask them to give me the day off because of an assignment I hadn’t completed yet. Their flexibility was very helpful to me.

So how do I do it? How do I fit it all in? The simple answer is I prioritize, schedule fun, and am flexible. Try it yourself. And don’t let the stress of life get to you. Some days it feels like there isn’t enough time to get everything done, but the truth is that we usually have plenty of time; what matters is how we use our time. In your busy life, take time to draw up a schedule. And don’t forget to schedule in some fun, too. It will help you to be more productive. I am living proof.


Nick Buscemi has been associated with IEW since childhood when his father began working for the company. This has given him extensive experience with IEW's methods of speaking and writing, having taken many years of classes from Andrew Pudewa. Enjoying communicative interaction, Nick is majoring in Public Relations at the University of Oklahoma.

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