2 February 2023

Does one really have more time or is that merely an illusion?

Now that I have given a long winded excuse in my previous post – and a fair warning at that – I can now start by telling you the question I get asked often: “How do you get so much time?”

It came up recently again around my posting of the annual dashboard. Which got me to think – in as much an unbiased way I possibly could – why is it that it seems to others that I get more time to do things?

My first conclusion is it is not about what I do – rather what I do not do. With the safe assumption that I have 24 hours like everybody else and that I sleep 7-8 hours a day (average about 7:30 most days), part of the answer has to lie in what is it that I do not do that others do.

Problem is when I ask people – how did you spend your time last week (in large categories), most people shoo me away. So, I tried to deduce from secondary data – like conversations that I cannot follow or the regular berating from my wife when she has to explain why I have not showed up at a party yet again.

I think not watching any movies, sports and in general having TV time to near zero (unless I am with my wife at a bar) plus not going to any large social gathering (more than 4 is large for me) is probably one reason I get more amount of discretionary time than others.

The second conclusion – and I am fairly ashamed to admit it – I am extremely particular about how I plan and track my time. By any fair measurement system, “OCD” does not even come close to the planning, tracking, habit growing system I have developed over the years (based on Level 10 Life).

To give you an idea, every morning, I grab my cup of “karak” chai and note down how I spent the previous day on 70 different variables. In full red, green, yellow colors. My wife calls them “crop circles”. Then there is the weekend aggregation of the week, the weekly planning, the monthly aggregation, the monthly planning… quarterly… annually. In fact the annual dashboard is a good example of the extent of lunacy I will go to – to plan and track my time.

To give you an idea how off kilt I am on this – once my friend Avi had asked me “What do you do for spontaneity?”. Without realizing the irony, I had answered “Why, I schedule that in.”

If the first two reasons were that I simply do not do other things that people do and I am inanely particular about how I spend time, the third one is outright unflattering.

And that is I post too much. While I was thinking thru why people wonder how I get so much time, I inevitably came to the conclusion that at least part of the answer lies in that I advertise a lot. Since I write down my daily life story with pictures and description – which then gets syndicated to Facebook (and for some posts, Linkedin), it must create an impression on the audience that I am doing a lot more things than others.

I do think the variety of activities adds to that impression but I suspect many people do similarly or even more interesting things. But since they do not post their life journal, most of us do not realize that they are doing a lot of stuff too.

If you know me or even if you do not, how do you relate to my conclusions?

Posted February 2, 2023 by Rajib Roy in category "Musings

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