April 28, 2010

Harvard Magazine had an article about students and their too-hectic schedules. Unsurprisingly, students are packing their schedules with classes, extracurriculars and social activities. And it’s gotten the point where something’s got to give – resulting in the most telling quote from the article: “Friends, grades, sleep: you only get two.”

Reminds me of the old project management triangle. The balance between resources, quality and time is a fine one. If you push too hard on two of the points, you won’t have any flexibility in where the third point ends up. You want high quality quickly? It won’t happen without the appropriate resources. If you don’t have the resources, you’re  going to be giving up either quality or time. I guess it’s the idea that you can’t have it all.

It’s sad to me to think about life in terms of a triangle, but I have to admit I do – just a little bit. There are definitely times when I’m too busy with work to want to do anything but sit at home and catch up on me-time. After that routine for a while, it starts to feel like I’ve been super anti-social. The same thing happens if I focus on the other two pair combination. In some sense it’s like there’s no perfect balance, like I’m always playing catch-up in some area. On the other hand, I’m sure if I could graph my activities on a longer timeline, it all evens out eventually. So my imbalance is only on a week to week basis.


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