I don’t have a standard job, by any means. These days I eke out a living by conceiving of playing cards, printing them, and then creating videos with those cards that serve as commercials that’ll entice people to buy them.
As such, the structure of my days are pretty much up in the air. Those of you who know me or have followed this blog will know that I’m a big reader, and that usually comprises a good chunk of how I choose to spend my hours. But as reading is quite a passive pastime, what is it that I do proactively to make the most of my time?
Over the years I’ve come up with a fun little system, encased in a mnemonic, that acts as a guide for how to live out what I consider to be a fruitful day.
I call it ‘O.M.G.’, which stands for:
Owe, Make, Give.
Here’s how I live it out.
This first segment of the trifecta primarily consists of errands, chores, and tasks that I ‘owe’ it to myself or others to perform. There’s the stuff on my to-do list, e-mails or DMs that I’ve yet to read or respond to, phone calls that need to be made, packages that required being sent out, dishes that need washing, clothes that need to be folded and put away, favors that need to be honored, etc., etc.
As an expert procrastinator, these tasks are sometimes things that I put off until ‘tomorrow’, but as we all know, ‘tomorrow’ tends to stack up. So by taking care of these ‘owed’ tasks first, not only do I alleviate any associated guilt from procrastinating on them, I also free up my time to work on the latter two parts of O.M.G. with a clean conscience.
It’s important to me to be consistently creative. That sometimes involves coming up with flourishes, but for me it can be anything that scratches the creative itch. Today, for example, my ‘make’ quota was fulfilled by writing this blog post. I also have several card projects that I’m working on at the moment, and it feels good each day to contribute to the gradual progress of fleshing them all out.
The satisfaction that comes from bringing something into existence that wasn’t there before is immeasurable, and helps with feelings of both self -worth and -esteem. It can also be quite therapeutic, something that I definitely experienced back when I was more heavily involved with the crafting aspects of Origami and Squid-making.
And as a parallel to blogging, journaling in general is also a great way to make something by manifesting your thoughts into a physical form. If you find that a blank page is too terrifying and that prompts suit you better, then check out either 1 Page at a Time or The Steal Like an Artist Journal, each stellar investments that’ll help you build creative momentum and remind yourself that there’s more to yourself than you initially realize.
With Christmas coming in less than three weeks now, it seems only right that the final facet of O.M.G. is based on the act of giving. This is something that’s definitely harder to do physically seeing as there’s a pandemic and all, but thankfully there’s other ways to give that we can do virtually.
For example, I’m not a big card collector, but recently I’ve made it a point to order decks made by my friends, as a way of showing my support for them, and as a result, the card community as a whole. The same goes for digital releases as well – there’s a couple magician friends of mine who’ve put out PDFs recently of their work, which I was more than happy to invest in. The downloads were quite brilliant to boot, which is just icing on the cake.
“But Kevin,” you ask, “what if I don’t have money to throw around?” No problem. You see, we already commit virtual acts of giving every day: leaving a nice and thoughtful comment on someone’s social media post (or blog!), sending a kind message checking up on an old friend, or even publishing a tutorial for that awesome creation of yours for the world to see and learn from.
Lately I’ve even found that my attitude towards the secrecy of my own moves has changed: whereas before I would be quite guarded regarding my techniques, I’ve recently been much more open about sharing tips for my moves during my Instagram Lives or if people DM me asking for help. It doesn’t benefit me directly in any way, but that’s not the point.
The point is to give without expecting anything in return, for the act of giving is a reward in and of itself. Try it for yourself and you’ll see.
So there you have it! My little 3-step hack for making the best out of every day.
Now excuse me, I have some reading to get back to 🙂