“Colonizing the night”

“How the 24-hour society is stealing time from the night” (from Aeon)

How important is the clock in your life?

Most days, do you feel that time is flying or “walking”?

Do you think people should be paid for doing a task, or by the hour?

How often do you kill time or waste time?

“Time-sickness, the feeling of being harried and hurried continually, is the disease of the age. Lack of time has become a common complaint. For many of us, there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things we want.”

The article offers some solutions to this modern problem. Are they realistic? Can you think of others?

Have you “colonized the night”?

What colors dominate your 100 blocks?

It’s never too late in the school year to reflect on how you manage your time. This post from Wait But Why asks you to think about your waking hours in blocks of 10 minutes. Use the (printable!) grid to write in or color code your average day:

One of the questions Wait But Why asks is: do you spend 3 blocks (30 minutes) preparing dinner or only 1 block (10 minutes) ordering it (or in Tokyo, more likely, popping out to a convenience store for something)? Which is a better use of your time? Which makes you feel happier/healthier?

How many of those blocks are colored Twitter-blue? How many of those blocks are filled with “study” and is it really concentrated learning or is it “study” distracted by something else?

A train story:

I was on the train the other day and saw a high school girl sit down and open a large textbook on her lap. She looked at it for about 30 seconds and then took out her smartphone to LINE someone. She did that for a few minutes and then did something else on her phone. About 5 minutes later, she put her phone away and looked at her textbook again. For another 30 seconds or so. She got her phone out again and was on it for another 5 minutes. She got out a highlighter pen and looked at her textbook again for a couple of minutes but didn’t highlight anything and didn’t turn the page. Then she put her book away and got out her phone again to LINE someone. A few minutes later she got up to get off the train, phone in hand.

I probably sound judgmental just by telling that story, and I don’t really mean to be. She can spend her time however she wants. But if she thinks that she spent her train commute “studying” then there’s a problem with her time managment. I suppose there are lots of people (not just students) who would benefit from reflecting on how they (we: I’m guilty, too) spend time.

We have about 5 weeks left of classes in this academic year. Let’s make the best of them.

And this reminds me of something I posted about a year ago. It’s about how some famous creative people spent (spend: one of them is still alive) their waking hours.

Tapping hidden potential

“Japanese culture doesn’t allow people to come back from mistakes”

Do you agree?

That’s a quote from the OECD’s Tokyo office head, from this article about how Japan needs to “tap its hidden economic potential” (from Bloomberg) — which includes women and older people. Another area that needs work: innovation. Even though Japan leads the world in the number of patents registered, a culture afraid of risk (says the article) doesn’t allow innovation in businesses and products. Another surprising statistic: according to the article, Japan had the lowest productivity-per-hour rate of all the Group of Seven countries from 1974 to 2014.


The article includes a short video, too: