Do You Know What’s Sucking Up Your Time?
We live in hectic times and our most precious commodity is and always will be time. You can’t grow more of it and when it’s gone you can’t get it back.
How often do you tell yourself that you can’t do what you want to do because you don’t have the time? We all do it. We want to live with more purpose, volunteer, or simply spend more quality time with our family and friends, but there just isn’t enough time to do it.
The cold hard truth is that there is plenty of time. It’s simply a matter of prioritizing what you spend it on and cutting out some of the things that suck up your time. We all have them and, while the specifics may be different from person to person, the solution is the same for everyone. Find out where you spend your time and then make educated decisions on what’s important and what isn’t.
One of the best tools for figuring out exactly where you’re spending your time is a time journal. This can be a simple little notebook, a stack of scrap paper, an Evernote doc on your phone, or a spreadsheet on your computer.
Next start writing down what you’re doing every 15 minutes from the time you get up to the time you go to sleep. Keep this up for about a week and see what you come up with.
Reviewing your time log can be a real eye opening experience!
You may discover that you spent a lot more time on the computer doing busy work, or surfing the web than you realize. Or maybe you had no idea that you spent an average of four hours a night watching TV, or 2 hours per day commuting to and from work. In other words, you’ll start to recognize patterns of behavior and where you tend to spend your time.
While there are quite a few areas that we don’t have a lot of control over (you have to show up for work or school, make time for personal hygiene, and get some sleep), there are quite a few hours in each day that we can fill however we like.
Keeping a time log for a week or two provides you with the information you need to be able to make educated and conscious choices about how to spend that time. That in turn allows you to live more purposefully, no matter what your goals and aspirations are. Sometimes, you want to sleep in, spend the day reading or playing video games, or simply daydream and that’s ok. It’s a great way to unwind, distress, and recharge. On other days, you may choose do so something more active or social.
The point is that when you become aware of how and where you’re spending your time, you have more control and can be more intentional with how you spent it.