Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Time overdraft alert?

Today, after faculty meeting, I was rushing to my second lecture of the day. I met Dr. Dave Krantz when waiting for the elevator. He said he was running to the next meeting. I asked whether he had a lot of meeting on Tuesdays and he made a face, and I got it "you just have a lot meeting everyday".

Then I told him about a student project done by one of my former students. In that project, people filled out surveys on the amount of time they spend on different activities every week (studying, commuting, shopping, etc). The most interesting finding of that project was that people had a wrong perception on how many hours in a week. People tend to overestimate the number of hours in a week by a large margin.

I said:"maybe this is why we are very much overcommitting ourselves."

Dave said that another reason we are overcommitting ourselves is because that when making commitments on something, we are committing time in the future. Since the future is unlimited, we tend to think or feel there will always be time.

Then I said:"maybe there should be something like the credit companies that prevent us from overdraft our future time too much. " Dave said:"That would be a good idea."


Yuejing said...

This is interesting. The fact is: we seldom know exactly how long one thing would take us, and there would always be unexpected things happening. So the "time overdraft protection" may not work.

And an amazing fact I found is: the more you commit, the more you actually do within a certain time unit because of pressure. This is always a paradox that for one thing, you don't want to overdraft your life, while for the other thing, you always want to achieve more goals.

Anonymous said...

Only do the things that you have to do, for your destiny.


Tian Zheng said...

There is a difference between things you have to do, and things you would rather do. There are also things we don't have to do but we are supposed to do, or things we are obligated to do...

"Have to do" is a definition with assumptions and varies with circumstances.

Hongyuan said...

Sometimes, we have to do somethings, yet are not incline to do them. Then we wait and postpone them until the last minute and regrete if only we could start earlier. I remember in my chilhood, when I do not like the food mom cooked, she always said,"Try it, it will not kill you." Then I tried and gradually liked it. Same idea. Perhaps everyone has inertia. As the time we start, maybe we will like it and make commitment to it.