Being realistic with your schedule

Wow, I haven’t posted in a while.

This post is about schedule management. I’ve had many personal projects I’ve wanted to do. The latest is my private Japanese lessons, which, in my opinion are going VERY well. (My students may or may not agree, hehe.)

I’m learning a lot and it’s very interesting to see the various strengths and weakness people have. The most enlightening part is how everybody can quickly pick up and learn Japanese, even the parts that are supposed to be “hard”.

Personally, I’ve totally debunked the “Japanese is hard” myth not only for myself but for everybody I’ve had a chance to tutor so far.

Anyway, one of the original hopes of teaching lessons was to get some inspiration and additional material for my textbook project. This really didn’t pan out as I had hoped. This is a mistake I and I’m sure many of you make; that is to magically hope that you can do more in the same amount of time.

So let’s do some simple math, shall we?

Hours in a Week: 168

Day Job with commute: 50
Sleep: 63
Preparing Food+Eating: ~12

Spending time with Family (Wife+dog): ~30
Japanese Lessons: ~4
Errands: ~5

Total time left: 4 hours.

If you add in new things that I’ve started such as yard work, my pool of free time rapidly dries up. It’s no wonder I don’t have time to work on other projects such as updating this blog or learning Mandarin. Compare this to list of responsibilities when I originally wrote the Grammar Guide.

Classes + Homework (except for Spring/Winter/Summer breaks) + Eating.

The rest of the week was just drinking and goofing off.

Based on current trends, once I have kids, you can expect to never hear from me again.

Update: Wow, I suck at math.

11 thoughts on “Being realistic with your schedule

  1. I was pinched for time, too, but I found ways to make sacrifices for more time. For example, I’ve pretty much given up listening to music and listen to foreign language (Japanese or Korean) instead. I cut time I spend with my wife in half and study instead, with her at my side studying English. We send our daughter to nursery school in the daytime to free up a few more hours, too.

    It all depends on what’s really important to you personally in your life, and where your goals fit in to all of it. I have a lot riding on getting proficient in Korean because we’re moving to Korea permanently from next Spring. That’s a huge factor in my life.

  2. You work almost 75 hours a week? Damn, man! I thought you left Japan! lol

    And you’re married? What else has the lack of blog entries left out for us? 😛

    And I think I’ll make up myself a similar table to see what I’m really doing with all my time… I’m kind of scared…

  3. @Alex

    Cool, you’re moving to Korea? What do you plan to do there?


    Yes, I’m married! But it doesn’t have anything to do with learning languages so I didn’t write anything.

    I totally miscalculated and forgot that I DON’T work on the weekends! Doh!

  4. I have a similar problem. Trying to learn Japanese, Hebrew, Economics, computer programming, trying to get into college, writing a book, etc. are all great ambitions of mine, but I am held back by laziness quite often.

    It’s always good to have someone push you to do something, especially when it’s something you actually want to do 🙂

    Aw, it’s time to go to bed already? What a shame, guess it’ll need to wait until tomorrow…

  5. Yes I believe laziness is the correct diagnosis of my schedule issues. I had a bunch of time this weekend but decided to take a nap instead. :p

  6. Yeah, I find that when I run short on time, it’s usually because I spent hours and hours just piddling around doing, for all practical purposes, nothing. Procrastinating, because the things I needed to do sounded almost like work or something.

  7. You talk about laziness being the cause of your nap-taking, but if your schedule is correct, you’re getting an average of just under 6.5 hours of sleep a night. That’s either a spot where you’ve miscalculated, or a good reason for why you lose time to extra naps!

    I’m just starting to re-take up my study of Japanese after several months coasting on memory, and I find myself needing to schedule my time much as you’re doing. I somewhat dread the tallies, though…

  8. After keeping a log for 2 weeks I found that I spent about 35 hours, give or take, each week doing nothing. Nothing meaning I’m talking to friends in my suite, browsing the web, laying on my bed thinking about stuff, etc.

    Granted, those two weeks also wound up being weeks that I didn’t feel like studying, but I was shocked to see the numbers, and they wouldn’t have even gone down that much (maybe 6-8) even if I had studied. And plus, doing “nothing” doesn’t count when I had drinking parties with friends…

  9. @taekk I’ll be doing way too much in Korea, that’s what! I plan on going back to grad school (fingers crossed) and teaching English to support our family. My wife and I also talk about starting up a small business. We’ve got several ideas, a few that are more realistic and concrete than the otheres. But it’ll be a while before we even start to put things into action.

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