Mario Villalobos


I love having a job because it has helped me manage my time in a really productive and focused way. That’s something I realized this weekend. I couldn’t imagine trying to build a routine with, at most, 16 hours a day for 7 days a week. Instead, I just have the weekends to do that, and that’s something I prefer more because, for one, 2 days are easier to swallow than 7, and because these two days both follow and precede a 5 day workweek, where my hours for each of those days are eaten up by a job, forcing me to maximize1 those few hours I do have for myself.

I spent most of my weekend2 catching up on my web reading. Web reading is exactly what it sounds like: reading information that came from the web. That’s different than my more focused reading, which usually involves my Kindle or a real book. I love to do most of my web reading on my iPad because it’s the most comfortable device to use for this type of activity. The screen is beautiful, both crisp and clear, and the device is so simply made that it disappears into the background and the actual content comes forward in a very lucid way. My newish routine has really come into its own these past few weeks, and that’s given my weekends a new energy that I love. I’ve been designating them as my reading days, even though I read from a book every night. Because of my job and my other habits and routines, I don’t have much time to read recreationally. That’s why I love the weekends so much now: I get to catch up on the week’s articles that I couldn’t get to. It’s really made me feel not only more productive, but also more curious.

I grabbed my Confidant notebook, printed novel, Kuru Toga pencil, and red Pilot pen, and rethought and reworked my novel. I focused on just the first chapter because I didn’t know how exactly I was going to do this task. The task, as it appears on OmniFocus, is “Rewrite and revise novel.” It’s vague and open enough that I can do anything I want, as long as I do something. Today was the first trial run, and I think I was successful. I’m planning to throw away a lot of what I’ve already written and start over. I re-read the first chapter, crossed out a lot of paragraphs, wrote some notes, and rethought the whole purpose of the chapter. That set me down the path of finding the purpose of each chapter I’ve written so far, and when I brought in the main goal of the book and applied them to each chapter, I realized how off-track I went with a few of those chapters. I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow, since I have to start on a new chapter3, but all I know is that I like the path I’ve set for myself. It means more work for me, but what else would I rather do than work at what I love?

It’s amazing how my mood changes when I’m not just productive, but when I’m productive in things that actually mean something to me. I feel that fire inside of me that wants to engulf everything in a majestic conflagration of joy and gratefulness. It’s a marvelous feeling that I know won’t last, but I’m glad when it’s here right now with me. It’s amazing and it makes me happy I’m alive.

  1. I really hate this word. ↩︎

  2. Those hours I actually spent productively. ↩︎

  3. Chapter 10! ↩︎