Very busy with work and deadlines these days (sorry), I picked up these daily planner post-its to try to make more efficient use of my time:
I don’t recommend them: at 8cm in diameter, they’re much too small to write in, whatever language you use. Much more interesting than my frustrations with my pudgy fingers though, is that example daily plan provided. It reads:
- 11:30pm to 6am: Sleep
- 7-9: Prepare for Conference
- 9-12pm: Attend Conference
- 12-1: Lunch
- 1-3:30: Attend Exhibition
- 3:30-6: Attend Hagwon (Institute)
- 6-7:30: Skip 300 times
- 7:30-9: Memorize English Vocabulary
- 9-11:30: Watch Online Lectures
Did the copywriters consider that a typical worker’s daily plan? Or more as one the ambitious professional should aspire to, starting with the strategic investment of 1500 won for a pack of 30?
Either way, it’s an interesting example of how Korea’s study-hard, work-hard, sleep-when-you’re-dead norm gets manifested and perpetuated in daily life, and one that would probably be little changed for consumers in other (developed) East Asian countries. In contrast, US adults, for instance, may also get less than seven hours daily sleep in practice, but the eight-hours ideal is an enduring myth. And very, very few aren’t achieving that ideal due to attending hagwons.
Another manifestation of Koreans’ attitudes to sleep comes from a high school teacher friend of mine, who says a common saying students there goes something like “Four hours sleep, go to a SKY university; five hours sleep, you fail.” I was recently reminded of it by the second “dark circle” on the right, which you can read more about at the Hankyroreh.
In both cases, frankly I’m surprised that the sleeping time is so high…
How about you?
Update: Some statistics, via The Korea Bizwire:
Toz, a business that rents meeting rooms, conducted a survey on 1,800 high school seniors who used their study center. Results showed that 31 percent of the respondents slept five to six hours a night, and 30 percent answered that they slept four to five hours.
In other words, six out of 10 high school seniors were only getting five hours of sleep every night. Those who slept more than seven hours represented only five percent of the respondents.
(For more posts in the Korean Sociological Image Series, see here)