Since arriving at HBS I have been tracking my use of time. It is essentially a wordless diary – just data input to an Excel spreadsheet. Requiring only 30 seconds a day, the tracking depicts my activities and their implicit priorities. I got into this regime when I was a consultant, after becoming familiar with a famous management consultant guru’s maxim:“There are only three ways that you can change yourself. To change your living place, to change people you socialize with, and to change your time allocation. And the most useless way is to change your mindset.”
The following charts are the summary of my time allocation in the 1st and 2nd semesters at HBS.
Seemingly there is no obvious difference between the two semesters. A large part of my life remains occupied with sleep, classes and study, and comprises about 70% of my life. Yet, compared with the 1st semester, the 2nd semester saw an increase in time spent on family, exercise and other activities, and a reduction in time spent on class and study (3% in total). Considering the fact that the 2nd semester has four months, the 3% amounts to 88 hours – not an insignificant amount of time.
Next year, the charts will look very different. At HBS, EC is typically far more flexible than RC and students spend more time outside of class. I will be investing a good portion of my time in my own business plan development.