Time management is something most of us have a tough time with. Most cubers have school /college or a job to manage as well as fit in extracurriculars. With so many other responsibilities, it can be especially hard to fit in something like Cubing which has so many different events. Have you ever faced a similar problem?
This guide contains a few tips on how to make time for cubing, as well as a few others on how to use that time efficiently.
1. Practicing in Blocks
The philosophy of using time-blocking is one that is very common and well renowned in the modern world. In this technique, one uses a large chunk (block) of time to do a certain activity, and only focuses on that activity for that time frame. In cubing terms, this would mean doing a certain event for some amount of time, but focusing only on that event - whether that may be learning algs, competition simulation or just solving.
Doing so helps you put all of your focus towards that particular event, which is better than shifting your focus from event to event. This can also be thought of as the term efficiency - as commonly used in cubing - being applied to real life situations.
2. Focus only on the important
When you’re low on time, it is much better to be efficient. Perhaps your Last Layer needs work. It would be much better to use the little time you have to learn new algorithms and use specific practice techniques, instead of repeatedly doing mindless solves that don’t fix anything.
Doing something that you’re already good at over and over again is counter-intuitive.
Understand your areas of weakness and start prioritizing.
The key to time management, as told by the successful, is prioritizing. Some days studying could be your top priority, and on others it could be cubing. On days leading upto competitions, you could focus on cubing while on others you could focus on homework. If the upcoming competition has 5x5 and not your main event, maybe focus on 5x5 for a while as it would help you achieve better overall results. It is also important to remember that practicing even very little everyday is still practicing, so even on days that you’re not prioritizing cubing, try to fit in a few solves here and there.
Understand your long term goals and align your days according to that.
4. Reward yourself
You can also make time for cubing by using it as a reward system for other tasks. For example you may do a certain number of solves on a puzzle after you finish a part of an assignment. Keep this system consistent, so for every part of homework you finish, you get to do a certain number of solves. This also helps in building consistency, which is the key to becoming better at anything.
Not only does this keep you motivated to study, it manages your time better and serves as a great break!
5. Switch to a different event
Example of Aniket solving a Pyraminx
The title given to this paragraph may seem off-putting at first, but it is simply better to switch to a different event when your progress has stagnated - to save time. Sometimes when you just don’t seem to be improving at a particular event, it is better to try a different event, and you will actually see improvement. Oftentimes you may see a cross-over of skills, which means that the skills you learn for another event may just apply to your main event and help you get better!
This continues to motivate you as well as saves time, because now you get better at two events simultaneously.
It can be hard to make time for things, and managing time well enough to practice efficiently and be able to do different events is something I still struggle with. However, we can simply try to be better every single day! What are some problems you’ve faced in managing your time? If you have any other tips that are effective, help out other cubers by mentioning them in the comments down below!