Do you always run out of time?

Do your weekends always feel short?

Do you go to work on Monday thinking you haven’t done a thing (and feeling guilty about it) ?

If you answer “Yes” to any of the questions above, then you are like me: a certified time waster. Nobody likes to waste time, money or good chocolate, yet we’re still doing it (except the chocolate part). To this end, I decided to make myself accountable of my free time this year and document it here.

Yes, this blog is all about productivity during your days off that includes weekends, public holidays, annual leaves and the occasional ‘sickie’ days. For most people who work 9-5, this is the time when we feel human, alive, rejuvenated, rested, (insert positive adjective here) etc.

On average, we have around 132 days off out of 365 days. Don’t believe me? Here’s the breakdown:

Weekends: 52 x 2 days = 104 days
Standard Annual Leave = 20 days
Public Holidays = 8 days (give or take)
TOTAL = 132 days

Throw in the odd sickie days here and there, you may end up with 135 days or more. That is equal to more than 4 months a year. That’s a lot of time, don’t you think? So why do we always feel like we don’t have enough time? In reality, when we manage our time better, we would realise that we have more time than we imagine/think/believe.

I’m lucky enough to have 151 days off this year because I’ve racked up enough unused annual leave from the years before (it’s a long story dedicated for another post). I will only work 4 days a week on most weeks while keeping a full time pay; which is brilliant. I vow to make them worthwhile by spending each of them making at least one iota improvement that gets me closer to my  life goals, make the world a better place and more importantly the wholeness of self (whatever that means).

What to expect from this blog:

Each month, I will establish a different theme on an aspect of life I wish to focus. For example, January will be mostly spent on reflection on the past and what I plan to do for the rest of the year (a plan to  plan :)). By focusing on one aspect at a time, I’m hoping to navigate my life better and reduce the anxiety of worrying various issues all the time.

Generally speaking, the work days are dedicated for career maximisation and maintaining general health. The 151 off days documented will be used for personal growth.  Some of my favourite topics are:

1. Personal Finance and Investing

I have been very fascinated with personal finance and investing topics in the past four years. In fact, I read at least 10 personal finance and investing blogs and news sites each day. I love it! Over the course of four years I have managed to get rid of my consumer debts and built stock and investment property portfolio.  The amount may not be as spectacular compared to some of PF bloggers out there but I know I’m on the right track financially.

I’ve “mastered” the basic financial skills and am ready to make my money work harder. During my off days in 2010, I will devour more financial and investing books to hone my skills and share what I have learned here.

I will not write much about frugality since there are so many blogs out there who are doing a better job at it. Instead, I will focus on money psychology, investing, macro economy and the all-time favourite, making extra money.

2. Leisure and Travel

I am fortunate enough that my work requires me to travel overseas a few times each year. While the trips stipulate business-like behaviours, I manage to steal downtime  in various different countries with my equally stressed out colleagues. Another benefit is the opportunity to accumulate  frequent flyer points which has afforded me to upgrade my holiday trips and fly for free.

In 2010, I plan to fill some of my free days with short, affordable and memorable leisure and travel activities. Spending a weekend as a conservation volunteer will be high on my list.

3. Culture

The business of cultural diversity has fascinated me as long as I can remember. I moved to a different country  when I was 19 all by myself, I’m married to a wonderful man with different race and cultural background, and finally at work, I deal with clients who live in four different countries. It is an eye-opening experience. And you will be surprised by how your life will become easier when you ask the right question.

4. Science Fiction

Nerd alert! Science fiction enables me to indulge myself  in a fantasy of a better world where everything is possible. Time travelling paradox is my favourite sci-fi theme of all time (oh, the irony). Nothing is more indulgent than immersing yourself in the conundrum of how one man becomes his own grandfather.

Oh, and Battlestar Galactica? The best sci-fi series of the millenium.

About the Author

I’m a 26 27-year-old girl who lives in the world’s smallest continent with her beloved husband. I love to laugh uncontrollably and  have to move my car three times during work days to avoid the parking inspectors.

When I was 19, I moved from my home country to Australia in a journey to get my bachelor degree. I graduated with Bachelor of Communication (media and history majors) only to realise that there were dozens of media students out there for each media-related job available. Soon after, I convinced  the International Bank of Mum and Dad to fund my Master of Accounting degree. I studied, got my current job, graduated, got married and here I am.

We are the only people we know who don’t own HD Plasma or LCD TV or what-have-you TV. I don’t get what the big deal about the HD Plasma or LCD TV is anyway. Is the resolution really better than the real life? C’mon.

Finally, I hope my journey would inspire, entertain or at lease provide a nice distraction from dreary work days.

17 Responses to “About”
  1. Fascinating way of looking at our year, and our leisure time! Never thought about having so many days off like that before.

    I remember before I went to business school, I’d wake up at 6am every Saturday twiddling my thumbs before my wife woke up around 8;30am or 9am. I decided I was bored, and attended school from 9am-5pm every Saturday for 3 years, 9 months of the year instead. That was my most productive time period for Saturday ever!

    I look forward to following your work. And if you ever want to guest post on my site, feel free to just shoot me an e-mail!



    • Bytta says:

      Hi Sam, thanks for stopping by my newly-born blog. I considered going back to school after finishing my Master degree but decided to slow down and focus on something else (and be less nerdy).
      I’ll be honoured if you’d let me grace your site with my writing. It will be an interesting challenge.

  2. Fabulous theme for a blog! In a way I went through a similar transition several years ago. After realizing I had wasted so much of my entire life I committed to making better use of it. I want to provide more value; value to my family, my community and myself. Once you eliminate the muda (waste) you will find that you have even more than you have realized. You should learn about the 7 forms of waste. Once you open your eyes, it’s amazing what you can find. Look up: “What is Muda?” on my blog for more.

    • Bytta says:

      Thank you, Greg. I can easily say that I’m guilty of at least 6 of them. I think I will need to learn more from you. This year will be great 🙂

  3. Moira says:

    Good work! I can see that you’ve been tracking a lot of things in your life that most people are not taking it seriously. you have a lot of dynamic interests that inspire people to learn what you do.

    If i can share with you one thing about me, i’m a lousy money saver. I should read more about your blog on personal finance, so i could also plan for a trip somewhere overseas or at least own something i can call my own, like a car or TV.

    keep inspiring everyone! well done! 🙂


    • Bytta says:

      Hi Moira,
      Thanks for the kind comment.
      I think most people are lousy money savers at one (or two, or many) stage of their lives. Only winners don’t quit. Good luck with your journey 🙂

  4. Money Funk says:

    Oh, I like the whole set up for this blog! Of course, I am being counterproductive on my time off right now, but its not often I get the house to myself (what a glorious day!). And I agree with you on Battlestar Galactica (we are talking the original series, right?). I also like the Star Trek movies, too. Oh, what about The Black Hole by Gary Nelson?

    Well, I look forward to staying admist your blog. Am going to add you to my blogroll. 🙂

    • Bytta says:

      Hi Money Funk,
      Thank you for your visit. I would be honoured to be on your blogroll.
      Well, I’m actually talking about the new Battlestar Galactica series :). It is more than just sci-fi; the drama, thrill and plot are riveting. I haven’t watched the original series but my husband told me that some of the original people are in the new series (such as Starbuck, who is a girl in the new version).
      I’m also an addict to Star Trek and Stargate series (nerd alert!). Haven’t watched The Black Hole but I will check it out.
      It’s so great to know another sci-fi fan in this PF blogosphere 🙂

  5. Austin says:

    Fascinating stuff. Thanks for helping out the Yakezie members in your side-bar!

    The picture of the baby on a post on your first page is freaking me out!

    Keep up the good work!

    Austin @ Foreigner’s Finances

    • Bytta says:

      Hi Austin,
      Thanks for dropping by.
      I’m happy to promote others and their good works. Win-win for all of us.
      The baby is how human looks like a few seconds after they’re born. Yep, that’s all of us. Look how far we’ve come 🙂

  6. PT says:

    Very cool stuff. I like the concept. Looking forward to reading more about your journey.

    • Bytta says:

      Thanks for dropping by, Phil.
      I like your newsletter too. Doing my best to be financially independent while savouring life’s adventure.

  7. First, thanks for sharing this insight with us. It really changed the way I view my work now. Your thoughts have inspired me and I feel working now, lol. And yes, it even makes my tasks even lighter now and less stressed about it.

    I’m glad you have a positive way of looking through things, keep it up.

    • Bytta says:

      Hi Benjie,
      Thanks for dropping by.
      That’s the nicest thing someone tells me all week 🙂
      We all have our own way to cope, before we find our place, don’t we?

  8. Interesting concept – I look forward to more of your posts throughout the year – it’s always good to get some new perspectives!

    Sometimes I think we need to place a greater importance on rest over the weekends. Sometimes doing less, resting and recharging our batteries on those days off make us even more productive!

    • Bytta says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jason.
      You’re correct.
      I’ve been analysing my weekend habit and realise that relaxing at home is not always a bad thing.
      However, I want to focus on reaching the annual goals by maximising my time.
      Still struggling though 🙂

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] a whopping more than 4 months of time a year that you could really do a lot of wonder with. Unlike Bytta of 151 Days Off, she was lucky enough to be able to have a lot of days for the year 2010 to spend her valuable time […]

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