The expansion of your domain is inherently more stimulating than the contraction of it. The problem is that your high-energy, high-capability self (the version of you that is most prone to the execution of activities) is often incompatible with your low-energy, low-capability self. And unfortunately, it’s often the low-energy, low-capability version of you that is left to manage, maintain, and repair whatever complicated apparatus or plan the high-energy you has created. 

The solution for the degenerate is not to cut off the expansion of activities that comes in high-energy periods. The solution is to be cognizant of the ongoing management costs associated with taking on additional levels of complexity. Also, since we are most capable, organizationally, in high-energy periods, it’s always best to contract existing commitments in high-energy times. A substantial fraction of high-value time, when you have energy, focus, and motivation in abundance, should be spent in contracting your activities. Conscious contraction is a worthy investment of high-energy, high-capability time.

…Even though you’re a degenerate, your approach to time management should be somewhat cohesive and well thought out. Do you utterly hate all forms of physical exercise? If so, your personal strategy must involve eating somewhat less than your exercise-loving counterparts, and you should try to fit in low-grade exercise like casual walking whenever possible. Do you loathe administrative detail? If so, your optimal time-management strategy should be to minimize personal administration. But you should strive to spend much less money than your work-loving counterparts, and you should also take on fewer projects and responsibilities.   

In managing your time, it is critically important to know your preferences. Your preferences determine your optimal allocations of time. For example, if you don’t like work, a good personal organization strategy for you involves spending less time at work. If you don’t love spending time with people, your equilibrium involves being less social. If you don’t like managing people, try not to be a manager. 

Want to read more? Check out my new book, Personal Organization for Degenerates!