The Big Question: Time Spent

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The Big Question posed on Learning Circuits this time is thought provoking – Where is your time spent?

It causes one to pause and reflect on our state of being. Where am I spending my time?

I’d say my waking time is spent on three distinct areas:
Work – quite obvious since I have to feed the family and myself. Currently consists mostly of consulting internal development teams on instructional approach and design, and the design of interactions and user experience. Lately, I’m seeing more work related to the design of games and simulation, far more fun than the conventional eLearning fare I’ve subsisted on in the past.

It goes without saying that Web 2.0 tools are integral to the work experience; with teams, consultants, customers scattered in various parts of the globe – its only technology that lets such geographically disparate teams function. It’s not local, it’s global.

Play– play, recreation, relaxation, whatever you want to call it – is an essential part of my life. Typically I use the verb ‘play’ because that’s what I do in the spare time I get. Play is ingrained deep in my psyche, a result of being addicted to and playing a variety of digital computer games. I’m not addicted like I once was and have learnt to limit my game play period, however I still play, it’s important to my well-being.

Web 2.0 has rapidly become a part of the game play experience too. Games now have online social components, so it’s no longer an isolated experience. These days, I coordinate Warcraft raids with a hundred or so clan members, go on quests, and create my own levels/maps for others to play – all part of the social game experience.

So some time during the day, I’ll find the time to fire up the PC, PSP, PS2 or PS3 – it should never be all work and no play.

Family and Friends – the part of my life that’s not completely online yet. While more and more family and friends have an online presence, it’s not quite the activity stream that I’d like it to be, but they’ll get there gradually. Till then, I have to find the ‘time’ to spend with them in the real world, so some part of my day is devoted to them. Play factors in again, as I do make it a point to spend time playing with my five year old.

In my non-waking hours, I sleep – the most critical part of my life; the one thing I CANNOT do without; it recharges my creative functions, let’s me dream, and helps with physical recuperation. Seven hours a day, completely offline. I like to think of it as system maintenance and upgrades.

How much time do you spend and how did you find time for all the relatively newer things like reading blogs, twitter, social networks, etc.?
I spend between 3-5 hours on new things, reading blogs, blogging, twitter, social networks. Luckily for me, my current role involves a fair bit of use of social technologies, both for marketing and research & development purposes. This lets me use time at work for a fair bit of these activities. Note however, this doesn’t mean that the social network doesn’t follow me as I leave the office; using an internet enabled cell-phone let’s me access and use social networks regardless of where I am. Rather than a focused period of activity around social networks, I’m constantly using them, to project a stream of consciousness into cyberspace.

What are you doing less of today than you were 3-5 years ago?
I’m doing far less people management. Hurray! Five years ago, my focus was around design, development and delivery of eLearning solutions. All these involve teams of inviduals that have to be led and managed. I don’t have to all that often now. It important to state that the focus is unchanged, however the very nature of the solutions being delivered has changed. It now involves the extensive knowledge and use of internet based technologies to deliver learning frameworks, and not just the design of instruction and interactive content.

eLearning is dead, long live eLearning.

My media consumption pattern has changed radically in the last 5 years or so; from being a regular consumer of mass media – radio, television and newspapers – I’ve become one who consumes media far more sparingly. No TV, no Radio, no newspapers; the web has replaced those with on-demand media.

I’m sure there’s loads of other things I’m doing far less off, to the extent I can’t even recollect what those are.

Do you have less of a life with all of these new things?
No, I have more of a life. I’m more connected, more in touch with the vibe, and have a glorious sense of community.

Life has been and always will be; it’s up to us what we choose to fill it with. Technology won’t make life any less or more worth living; it’s what we do with its potential that establishes its relationship to and impact on life. Technology hasn’t intruded into my day to day life; I’ve invited it in and left the door open, deliberately.

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