My Memory, My Time

Today I found an amusing article that I wrote in January, 2009 as follows:

### Last year I read a book titled ‘CrazyBusy’. The author said that most of us busy people today are somewhat suffering from ADD – We take on far more tasks than our brains can comfortably process, thus we don’t pay enough attention to any of them. I kinda feel the impact recently, from my seemingly deteriorating memory…

  • I confirmed a dentist appointment that would be 2 days away, and on that day got a phone call from them asking ‘Why are you still in YOUR office, when you should be in OUR office?’ 
  • Before I went to bed, I opened the contact lens cases, poured in solution, then closed the cases – without removing the lens from my eyes and putting them in.
  • I accepted a conference call invitation that would happen in half an hour, then got distracted and totally forgot about it.

etc. etc. etc…

I don’t believe I am gradually losing my mind. I think I am just too busy. So I take a close look at how I spend my time each week (on average), and here is a summary (try it for yourself, it is fun):

I have 24*7=168 hours each week.

Sleep: 8*7= 56 hours
Eat (cook, eat out, wash dishes): 15 hours
Rest (shower, brush teeth, contact lens, etc): 4 hours
Work: 8*5= 40 hours
Commute: 3*5= 15 hours
Church (Bible study, pray, Sunday service, volunteer): 10 hours
MSN chat/Gather/Facebook: 12 hours
Read books: 4 hours
Watch Netflix movies: 3 hours
Write journal: 4 hours
Phone calls (family, friends): 3 hours
Shopping (grocery, books, clothes, etc.): 2 hours

Of course, some hours are double counted, for example, I can make phone calls/read during commute, or MSN chat/watch movies when eating… But I will need these additional hours to pump gas, exercise, surf web, clean house, pay bills, put out trash, water plants, do laundry, meet friends, see doctors (doctor, dentist, orthodontics, chiropractor), try to find stuff, try to remember things, etc. etc. etc. 🙂

No wonder. But on what activities can I cut my time budget?? ###

Now, seven years is a long time and my hours have definitely shifted. “Commute” hours have decreased from 15 hours to 2 hours; “Church” time has gone down significantly; “MSN chat/Gather” time is eliminated, perhaps switched to ‘Blog/Games’; “Read books” increased from 4 hours to 12 hours; “Watch movies” down to 1 hour; “Write journal” no more. “Phone calls” should be renamed to “WeChat”, my major channel for connecting with family and friends. And its hours need to increase to 15.

I am doing exercises more regularly so at least 5 hours a week should be registered. Also should add ‘Travel’ to this list although measuring it by average weekly hours is a challenge. I haven’t added these updated numbers up but I feel the 168 hours a week are more or less accounted for. This year I will pay more attention on how I spend my time…



Travelogue (V)

Significant events don’t distribute evenly in life, they usually concentrate in only a few years (at least for me). All other years just pass by, day in and day out, without leaving much trace.

2010 was definitely a very eventful and memoriable year for me. In mere 12 months, I got an iPhone (Jan), survived the snowmageddon/snowpocalypse in the DC area (Feb), refinanced my house (Mar), transferred group at work (May), changed nationality (May), finished two home improvement projects (Jun), and of course, lots of travel – I went to New York City 15 times (for work), visited Europe 4 times (8 countries), and some more. 🙂

March – I visited Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, and Bryce National Park. City and nature combined – a well balanced wonderful trip. Even though this was my third time in Las Vegas and Grand Canyon, I gained new experiences – seeing “O” Cirque du Soleil at Bellagio and admiring Grand Canyon from above. On the way back I flew first class (boosted for free) for the first time in my life.

April – A very nice heart-warming road trip to New England – CT, MA, NH, ME.

August – Flew to Brussels (Belgium) and spent a day in Bruges. Then a wonderful road trip in central Europe – Bratislava (Slovakia), Vienna (Austria), Munich (Germany), Fussen (Germany), Salzburg (Austria), Ljubljana (Slovenia), and Budapest (Hungary). Every place was wonderful, but the highlight was to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, which I have dreamed of seeing for years as I worked on a 3000-piece jigsaw puzzle of it. Lots of challenges and fun stories from this trip that I could write about in later posts.

September – Attended a beautiful wedding in Cape May, NJ – a five-hour cruise on a 110-foot boat. The weather was gorgeous. We drank, ate, danced, laughed on deck under the stars. What a fun evening.

November – Went to London twice (two weeks apart) for work. The first time I flew red eye, had a meeting all day, and boarded the return plane the next morning. Kind of crazy, I know. But I did spend a weekend there the second time as a tourist before getting to work on Monday. I got an Oyster card and immediately felt like a local. Love the city, especially I didn’t even use my umbrella the whole time!

December – A trip to Spain for vacation. A much needed relaxing time at the end of a roller coaster year. Had a wonderful Christmas Eve in Madrid – drinking Heineken eating pasta listening to American music in an Irish pub in Spain. The world is flat! Then Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands off of Africa that belong to Spain, was simply amazing. It has a big volcano (El Teide) in the center, quite a few other mountains with breath-taking views and roads, and of course, lots and lots of beaches. Riding a bike along the shore was a new experience for me, and I immensely enjoyed it! Not to mention watching fireworks on a beach at the warmest New Year’s eve I had ever had!

This concluded my crazy whirlwind 2010. Now I am about to depart on another cool trip (Argentina!), immediately followed by a business trip to London. Likely I won’t be able to post anything for a while, but I will have a lot to share when I come back! Stay tuned. 🙂