Growth as a Person and a Chess Player Requires Wise Use of Time
When I began thinking about my trip to Montana in May, I looked at the schedule for the two meetings I would attend (back to back without a break in the middle). One began Monday at 1:00 and the other ended Friday at Noon. I realized there would be free blocks of time in the middle (two free afternoons: Tuesday and Thursday). But I also realized that Yellowstone National Park was big. I assumed I would need time after the meetings to be able to see more of it (and it was needed).
That planning impacted my airline reservation search. I had to decide which airport to fly into. There were many choices with none that were convenient and affordable. Having been to Montana back in 1995, I knew about the beauty of the area within an hour of Billings. I found flights into Billings were much more affordable and rental cars were as well. I decided to drive 3.5 hours each way from Billings to West Yellowstone where our meetings would be held. Those decisions then impacted the dates and places for hotel reservations.
Why am I telling you yet another travel story? It has to do with scheduling our time for what we want to do. If I had not taken a long, hard look and scheduled to allow some sightseeing time, I would have missed a lot of Yellowstone! This took scheduling and planning.
Who is in charge of your schedule? Each of us can allow others to determine our schedule, or we can take charge of it. Yes, I know that some of it is out of our control, but frequently much of it is out of our control because we exert no control. In my experience, work always expands to fill up all of the allotted time plus some.
Time for chess and for our growth as chess players requires intentional scheduling. If you want to improve, you must invest your time wisely. Don't sepnd all your time playing. Review/debrief your games--look for one lesson/learning from every game. Don't be afraid to annotate your games (write down your thoughts about your moves on the fourth tab for each game). Review the games of others who play well. Consider coaching--for some, your game may show more quick improvement through a few sessions of coaching than through any other method.
But for some, chess can also be addicting. Time spent on chess can start taking more and more time until too much that is important is neglected. Take control of your schedule. Decide what is a priority. Put first things first. Schedule your time according to your priorities. Be disciplined in pursuit of your priorities. Don't allow your addictions to control you. Control them! Grow as a person and as a chess player!