This month’s Big Question on The Learning Circuits Blog is
“where is your time spent?” It paraphrases this in a series of more specific questions that saved me time in thinking up sub-headings for the sections in this post.
Where do I spend my time?
I think a more important question here is ‘when and how do I spend my time?' However, here’s the 'where', per day, based on normal weekday activities averaged over a 7 day period, not including holidays:
As you can see, I have a 28+ hour day. Short of pitching the world off its orbital path to accommodate all this, obviously there has to be some overlap. Indeed, to be realistic, this is what I find – not multi-tasking – but the ‘where’ tends to dictate this more than the ‘when and how’. When and how I spend my time is another matter.
How do I find time for all the relatively newer things
like reading blogs, twitter, social networks, etc?
In 2001, I discovered some useful things about myself. I learned more about when the best time is for me to think and reflect. I discovered that the early hours of the day was a good time to reflect on the day yet to come, and do some planning for that. The best and most convenient time for this is when travelling to work by bus.
For me this – together with its more relaxed counterpart, that of travelling home on the bus – provides an efficient use of otherwise wasted time. So it does two things. It gets me to and from work. It also helps me with the efficient use of my time at work and at home.
I might plan a strategy for tackling a ticklish problem at work to do with my learning group, for instance. Or I might have a bright idea for a blog post and have the time to think through different ways that it could be done. In fact, most of my initial thinking is done on the bus or at times like that where I've no option but to be there.
Good planning, of course, has to be flexible. When things don’t go to plan, a new plan must be drafted or the old one reshaped. Here’s when contingencies can also be mulled over while still in the planning stages – another efficiency trick. That way, not so much time has to be spent rethinking the one-and-only, platinum-plated, carbon-nano-tube-reinforced plan.
What am I doing less of today
than I was 3-5 years ago?
I don’t write so many letters. I spend more time writing equivalent emails and social networking to cover the same reasons for writing letters. With my older daughter, Hannah, at university and living in another city, I now spend time communicating with her through txting and Facebook and on the telephone.
This weekend, for instance, I took some photographs of my youngest daughter, Catriona, with my Sony digital. She was all set to be off to a Saturday night fancy dress party. I just had to catch a few pix of her.
Today (Sunday) I spent some time trimming the photographs and uploading them to Flickr and Facebook while chatting with Hannah online. This is one of the overlaps, in this case an overlap of family time spent with social networking and using digital technology.
Do I have less of a life with
all of these new things?
Most certainly and categorically not. In 2007 and at the age of 60, I had a hip joint replaced. That was in August. In October, my family whisked me off to Auckland to spend a weekend with them. I’d got rid of my sticks by that time and was able to hold a digital camera steadily enough to nearly fill 2 Gb of upload.
When I got home on the Sunday night I uploaded the digital pix to Facebook and used these in communication with family overseas.
Similarly in December that same year, when I was still inebriated with my new mobility, I took Catriona across the harbour on a ferry to explore Matiu-Somes Island. Once again, the digitals provided an incentive to blend relaxation with family and a bit of web2.0 technology.
The joy of the immediacy in using today’s technologies – my chat with Hannah while uploading pictures taken the night before – the rapid return to communicate pix taken on holiday immediately with family overseas – the fun of previewing pix that were taken on Matiu-Somes Island while returning on the ferry – do not detract from life.
At the NetSafe Conference July 2008 I stepped out to the shore of Lake Wakatipu at morning tea. I had my camera in my pocket and I captured a scene that has brought back memories of the short time spent at the lakeside. The playback is on Facebook and has been appreciated by family and friends alike.
But there are many moments of tranquillity that I have spent with others or in solitude without the accompaniment of technology - I am guilty of this. In those times I either leave the technology (digital cam – mobile phone) at home or in my pocket, switched off. I make the choice.