Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Busy Me

OK, so I plan to write a novel in a month, while working full time. Let's take a closer look at my schedule, shall we?

Assuming I get to bed by midnight, and wake up at 6:30am, that's 6 and a half hours gone just for sleep.

It takes me about 15 minutes to wake up, go to the bathroom, and wash my hands.
It takes me about 30 minutes to prepare, eat, and clean up from breakfast.
It takes me about 30 minutes to brush my teeth, shave, and shower.
It takes me about 15 minutes to choose an outfit and get dressed.
It takes between 10 and 25 minutes to commute to work, but less just say 15.

My morning routine has taken more than an hour and a half (I really am that slow in the morning), so that's 8 hours gone.

I try to be at work by 8am, but work officially starts at 8:30, so let's say it's 8:30. I often work until 8pm, but sometimes I get home as early as 6pm (work officially ends at 4:15pm, which is to say, I stop getting paid at 4:15pm, but I will keep working until I'm done). So, let's say I work until 6pm.

Work took about 10 hours (seriously, this is true), so that's 18 hours gone.

The advantage is that I can often study between classes, and I study a lot. Japanese, programming, design; I'm addicted to learning. This is not necessarily the good thing educators would like us to believe, but that's an argument for another time.

Now that I'm home, there are basic maintenance things I need to do (laundry and stuff like that). Let's say I do one load of laundry every other day (it feels like it's every day). How much work does it take to do one load? Sorting the clothes (5 minutes), starting the washer (1 minute), hanging up the clothes (10 minutes), folding the clothes (20 minutes). Let's say, about a half hour total. Split over two days, that's about 15 minutes a day. So, let's round that off entirely.

We're still at 18 hours. We've got six hours left to spend.

Dinner time. Assuming I eat at home (because I'm trying to save my money). Well, I have to go to the store. I go to the store maybe twice a week (actually, it's probably more often than that, I'm estimating conservatively). I usually spend about an hour there, shopping around. So two hours spread over a week. That's close to 15 minutes a day, let's round it off.

Then I have to prepare dinner, eat, and clean up. Let's say I can get prep time down to 20 minutes or so, and clean up 10 minutes or so. That's a half hour total. I'm not counting eating time because I will usually multi-task while I eat.

We still have five and a half hours left to spend.

Often, I will work on things I couldn't do at work. I know how sad it is to spend 10 hours at work, and then come home and work some more, but there it is. I am forever researching things to put up on the English bulletin board or activities for class or materials that I might give to the slower students. One of the main reasons I wanted to come to Japan in the first place is because I want to write educational language learning software. So, even though a lot of what I do is technically work related, it's also personal. Now you know. Anyway, I'll spend one or two (or three) hours on that.

We're down to three and a half hours to spend.

I try to exercise an hour a day (I'm trying to get back down to 180 pounds). Which is to say, I ACTUALLY exercise maybe 20-30 minutes a day, and then quit. Which is to say, I STRETCH for about 20 of those 30 minutes, and ACTUALLY TRULY REALLY exercise only about 10 minutes. So what, how many minutes do you exercise? Do you even exercise 10 MINUTES a day? Don't judge me. Even only 10 minutes makes me feel better. I would like to move this to the morning like I used to do (I was getting up at 5am before, to do this), but I haven't gotten my body to go back to that old routine.

Now we're down to three hours to spend.

I usually spend these on pleasure. Reading for pleasure, listening to music for pleasure, watching TV or movies, or talking on the phone.

Now you know my schedule (more intimately than you wanted; if you think blogs should be limited to more interesting content, start your own). I can squeeze some novel writing time in there.

The goal in life isn't to become rich or famous or change the world. At least, MY goal isn't. My goal is to pack each day full of minutes.


  1. It's a good thing you don't plan on dying.

  2. That's the idea. :D

    Hmm....I wonder if I can work that as a plot...ah well. It's only the 30th. I'm sure I'll come up with something before the 1st.