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Scheduling time

My Nike+ GPS watch (with TomTom co-branding), a cool gadget

One big thing that changed since I moved to Canada, is that I have a lot less time for reading news and writing blog posts. In China I used to stop doing emails and calls around 11 or 12 at night, have a glass of wine and start reading my RSS feeds or write a blog post. But in Canada I need to get up much earlier to get Scott ready for school (no nannies here!), so instead of going to bed at 1 or 2 AM I am normally in bed by midnight already. That means I need to rearrange my time schedule a bit if I want to write a blog post.

I have at least 5 topics that I planned to write about, but it seems I can’t find the time to do so. I just realize I did not post anything in the past 2 weeks… In China there was always time late at night or while driving to work, but now I will probably need to make time for it: either spending less time with the family, going to bed later or getting up earlier, or spending 30-45 minutes during lunch to write a post. Not sure yet what’s the best solution, but I want to keep writing this blog so I will find a way.

As for reading news, I deleted a lot of my news feeds and try to find good curated news sites to keep up with what’s happening in China and the rest of the world. It’s a slow process and it’s sometimes hard to delete a feed that I have been following for years (I now put them in a ‘read on the weekend’ folder, that I scan a few times during the week as well). Also finding good news sources for Vancouver proved harder than I thought, feel free to let me know if you have any suggestions.

I am still not watching any TV, despite having hundreds of cable TV channels, so at least I am not wasting time on that. When I just got our TVs installed I spent some time zapping through all the channels, but I quickly realized it’s a major time sink so I avoid turning it on. I could probably save about $100 per month by canceling my cable subscription, I should look into that. I do watch some video on demand late at night (especially through Netflix), so I don’t miss the cheap Shanghai DVDs yet!

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  1. Hi Marc

    Just do “Marc’s Minute” and do a video blog
    or podcast post once a week ! ..

    Marc’s Minute !

  2. Hi, Marc:

    Why not download the App called ” Flipboard”. There would be some quick news about Vancouver or anywhere in Canada ,US . Not bad . I used it all the time since last year. Read them on the iPad when waiting for picking up my kid in the car. Maybe you can try!

    Have a good day!


  3. I love my Nike GPS/watch which you feature in picture but don’t mention by name. Just
    wish it could get me back to start when I get lost. Hope the band doesn’t break too
    soon – like most of my other runnin watches
    did. As my eyes get older, it’s nice to have watch I can easily read.

  4. M, I found when I was doing a few months in Vancouver in 2010 the best time for me to get all of my stuff done — given the PT Zone and all the rest of it, and whereby most of the influential action taking place on the Continent takes place in my time zone — was at around 04h. I used to get up at 4am, read/research/write until 05:30h, gym until 07h or thereabouts, and then I was ready to conquer the day…which would last me well onto 22h or 23h until I passed out. Five hours of rest seemed enough to carry me through, and I found I had a nice chunk of time at the end of the day to read and do a bit of flaneĆ»r-ing…

    NOTE: I was single, did not have kids, and the only obligations I had were to myself and work, so it’s a bit of a differnet scenario and I realize you mightn’t be able to cleave to it — plus I was actually right downtown, so it was a cinch for me to boot around everywhere on foot, with almost no delays due to traffic, provided I knew where I was going in advance, and Google Maps I had all the perfect steps. Plus, it was a great way to warm up before hitting the gym. I went to a couple — I had one in my place and another one on the corner of Helmcken and Homer.

    In terms of a source of news you might really enjoy, I recommend the Georgia Straight ( which is a bit alternative-y in sections, but there’s a really nice magazine feel to it — it’s local — it’s scintillatingly well-written! — and it’s FREE every Thursday, I believe.

    I also believe you can pick it up outside any of the major venues, the library, the cafes, the supermarkets, the bars, or basically any of the chain shops.

    We of course have NOW Magazine here in Toronto which is much more established, caters to a much-larger audience, and has a bit more of a political bent, which I appreciate…but you will like the Straight. The two of them are similar — and I used to like having a full pot of coffee Saturday mornings reading the Straight and getting a nice late start to my weekend…

    Barring that, the local CTV Station at the corner of Robson and Burrard always has a lot of cool things going on — roughly the “northeast” corner of the intersection.

    Let me know how it goes…and when I come knocking, I’ll show you a few more places…

  5. Hi Marc, welcome to Vancouver, and I think you made a great decision coming here.

    I would suggest Wic- or a week in China, a weekly magzine published by HSBC.

    It captures and summarizes important and interesting events happend in China with a rather neutral commentary stance.

    Hope you find it useful.