Where did the time go

I’m sure we’ve all had this feeling as we are laying in bed, exhausted from another day that finished with 3/4 of your mental to do list incomplete. At that moment you’re thinking “I could never learn something new. I didn’t even finish what I had to do, much less wanted to do”. Unfortunately, I do not have an easy answer for you.

However I do have a difficult answer for you: Create more hours in the day. This is not one of those time management, gimmicky, use tools X, Y, and Z to save more time type of approaches. I mean get up earlier.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell offers an a great comparison and proverb for work:

In east Asia the primary crop is/was/has forever been rice. Rice, as it turns out, is a very time-consuming crop. The typical rice farmer works 3000 hours/year. Compare that to your schedule. If you have a long commute, you may be “working” that number of annual hours.  But if you live within 1/2 hour of work, 3000 hours is a lot of time. Even if you are bragging about your 10 hour days, that’s still roughly 2500 hours in a year. 3000 hours equates to 60 hour work weeks.  Apparently yields must be good, or wages poor, because Chinese food is pretty cheap.

As part of the story Gladwell relays the following Chinese Proverb: “A man who can rise before dawn 360 days a year, never fails to make his family rich” This ended up being my new year’s resolution: as of 1/1/2009 I get up before the sun every day. Full disclosure: I couldn’t beat the sun from early June – mid July. However I did wake 15 minutes earlier and now I’m back ahead of Apollo.  After relaying this story to our friends, I am now officially known as the “rice farmer”.

Next Post – a trick to getting started


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