Beki Grinter

Perspectives on Work Time

In France, HCI on May 31, 2011 at 10:50 am

I’ve just re-read Amy Bruckman’s, post about facebook and other social media. She’s arguing, at least in my reading, that the time it takes to check Facebook, twitter etc. during the day is taking up more of her time than she wants. Another colleague of mine, Phoebe Sengers, recently wrote an article in Interactions magazine about how her time spent on Change Islands, Newfoundland, Canada, made her reflect on the values that she brings to her work and life. In the face of very different methods and beliefs about how a day should be lived, she found herself reflecting on the values of efficiency and productivity in her life.

Perspectives on how we value the way in which time is spent.

And I keep pondering them both together. How should I balance my day, how to I prioritize my time. What does it meant to prioritize time? To feel guilt when the results of that prioritization can not be seen in accomplishments. And I admit that sometimes instead of working I just want to read the daily pulses that are the lives and interests of my friends.

Of course the very fact I am prioritizing my time, that I am viewing my day as consisting of chunks that need allocating is its own value system. This reminds me of French lunch time. Sometimes when I sit in my office eating a sandwich quickly in order that eating should not take up too much time, I think about how Metz shut down between 12-2 as people took lunch. Perhaps they also ate quickly, but they took a block of time, lunch time, and that was a different temporal space than the work day time.

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