Last time when I chatted with my friends from U.S (I think it was on the top of the Jin Mao tower), he introduced a new tool that helps people to use calendar more effectively. He asked me whether it will be a good application for the Chinese market. My short answer was no. My longer answer was “I am not sure how many people in China really use calendar.”
People in China don’t use Calendars as Often
It is a major difference between people in China and in U.S. I don’t know why people in U.S. use calendar, either software or paper based, in daily life.
If I hadn’t worked in a foreign company, I would NOT have used calendar either.
Is it because of the educational system that uses the task based time management theory, or because the schedule of each person depends on the other so much? My friends in have schedules, and I have schedules, but the schedule is flexible enough and not so many and people don’t need something to help remember them.
Restaurants don’t require reservation (Shanghai is the exception). A waiting line is always a good solution.
This is an interesting difference.
Updated July 26, 2007
Recently, I think the question should be asked as “Why people in U.S. use calendars, instead of why people in China don’t use them”.
When I look at the time management theory symbolized by a clock, I found it is not a tradition in western countries either before 1800. The industrial revolution in England forced farmers to go to factories, and for the first time in history, people need precious clock, so the work can be synchronized, and people can depend on the work of each other.
In the recent 50 years, to-to-list as a time management tool get popular in U.S, and task based management, prioritizing, and the concept of goal based time management as a theory get so popular in U.S., that people all rely on calendars and task list to do their work. The current generation of American (and maybe their parent generation) grew up and learn the time management when they are young.
That MAY answer the question of why people (almost everyone) in U.S uses a calendar.
In China, on the contrary, didn’t go through the industrialization revolution yet, and people still keep the pace of the previous hundreds of generations, and time is not that important in the current society.
So, people in China don’t use calendar.