On Time Management

Richard asked:

As reading your blog, reading your life. I start wondering how can you manage your time so well? As a director of Kijiji, a person who keeps writing a blog every single day, and also occasionally gives speech in university, moreover quite often produce a thoughtful article in your Chinese blog… I would be very expecting to read an article about your way of managing time someday. :-)

and Cai asked the same question:

Yes, I have same feeling, when I read an article about your blog, I began to surf on your website. I can not believe that you insisted for about three years. Amazing!

I also want to how do you manage time and write an article just about story of daily life which we ignored most time.

It is very interesting question. Let me try to answer it.

I am not a Time Management Expert

The first answer is, my time management may not as good as you describe. I am try to improve. Having said that, I just want to share the reason when I kept blogging and doing a lot of things at the same time.

Blogging? It is Just What I Decided

This entry: I Started the Blog to Post Resume, which was posted exactly one year ago, explained the initial reason why I started blogging. It is a little bit kidding, but meanwhile, it is true. I often ask my friend of the question: “What do you remember in the year 2004?” Sometimes, we may be too busy on the daily life and forget what is important. As the forth generation time management experts put it: “We have wasted years. Why hurry for the seconds?”. Blogging is the time to force me think and keep observation. For this blog, in particular, has a mission to help communities who are new to Shanghai or who are away from Shanghai to learn about this city, by a very small window – a window of a normal persons’ life. Although the recent role change made my life much busier than before, I still believe I have time to keep writing. The strongest reason I convince myself to continue is, “If I cannot manage to get some time writing, how can I manage a business bigger than that?” :-) Bill Gates have thinking week; Google has 20% innovation time; Steve Ballmer still reserved time for his family and grass. It is not only skill, but a wise philosophy.

6 thoughts on “On Time Management

  1. Good you have responded to that question. I am a university teacher and students often ask this question too: How can I manage my time effectively and efficiently? How to budget time? Time management is not just a skill, as you have said, it is a mentality that successful people have. They know how to allocate time and how to enjoy life or those little sweet moments in life. Let me try (I am 班门弄斧- teaching your grandmother how to suck eggs, for some reason I don’t like this particular phrase although in my hometown there are people who suck eggs when they are sick with a cold or bronchitis- kidding!).

    Good time management starts with good planning. You got to keep a planbook and write down what you have done or what you are going to do. Keep some time for yourself too – some “me” time. Think about things that have happened…. As the foreign “devils” say, slow down and smell the roses. I didn’t believe there was any good in keeping a planbook last year and I tried it this year and it worked for me beautifully. I can finish the things I have to do and still have some time for my family, blogging and all that. Before that I was a very disorganized person to a point where I can be called a “procratinator”.

    What do you do with your planbook? Well you need to do it on a daily basis. You don’t fish for 3 days and dry the fish nets for 2 days, right? The most difficult thing with plans is it is hard to do the things that you are supposed to do every day. You would be a perfect person if you could do that. But make sure you do it most of the time. There are times when we should ‘steal’ some little moments and have some laughters. I cannot do that every day but I try to stick to the original plan, let’s say, 80% of the time.

    As Jianshuo has said, we all need to leave some time for self-reflections. Time runs fast but as long as we invest our energy in the things we are interested in, there is always some time left for ourselves. We all have a public self and a private self. It is tiring to present your public self all the time when you work so we got to go back to be our old selves for some time at least.

    I don’t know what I have said would make any sense to you but this is a place to discuss things, right?

  2. Very interesting in your response and your previous article “I Started the Blog to Post Resume”. Now your weblog is not only a small windows but where a lot of reader gathering!

    One simple or silly question from me, how to estabilsh my own webblog like yours, I really want to try and keep writing something eveyday!

    Cai Yu

  3. Mediaspin,

    What you said made a lot of sense. I simply can not keep everything I need to do in my head particular during the last severals when I get older. So I have done something similar to what you have done, which is to keep a planner in which I write down all appointments I have with people. On top of that, I keep a To Do Lists at least once a week, and I update it whenever needs arise.

    It takes me a long time, sometimes as much as half an hour in one sitting, to come up with a detailed list of things that I need to take care of either immediately or within the next week. If I plan to call some people, I would dig out their telephone numbers and put them beside their names. Yes, it takes time to do so, but once I have the TO Do List made up, executing it is much quicker than one can imagine. And I make quick notes of what my cnversation is about in writing. If I need to call a business to check some information or to make a complaint, I would write down the date, name of person I contacted and the action I took, and make notation if I need to follow up on the case. By doing so, should I need to contact these people again, I would try to speak with the same persons to save time repeating what I had said before.

    Another tool I use which saves me a lot of time retrieving documents is to keep anything worth saving in my filing cabinet. Then once a year, I go through the files and toss out paper I no longer need. By faithfully keeping good files, I can find things much quickly than if I have to look for them in piles of paper work. Of course nowdays people can save documents in computer files, but I still do things the old way.

    Another trick I use is to keep many things that I want to put in storage in clear plastic bags or in ziploc bags instead of shopping bags which I can’t see through. Again, this saves me time.

    Anyway, this is a big topic to cover. What I shared with you guys are just a few good habit I formed which has helped me.

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience with me, Tamie. In fact last week I almost lost my IBM warranty papers and tax invoice because I put it in one of the shopping bags. My mother threw it into the garbage bag. And I searched frantically for the papers and luckily my mother hadn’t taken them out and I found them! I learned a lesson and that afternoon I started to sort out all the important things and put them in separate envelopes.

    It pays to organize things and do things in a planned manner.

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