Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

How Do You Really Spend Your Precious Time?

Autumn - Time Tracking

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ― Mary Oliver

On an absolute level, time is a figment of our imagination.  Nothing exists but the present moment.

On a relative level, however, this lifetime is finite.  Therefore, we need to make clear choices with our time or we’ll end up dissatisfied and full of regrets.

Understanding the absolute perspective can bring humor when we get all tied in knots about time.  Understanding the relative perspective ensures we act responsibly and gain the most out of our limited time on this earth.

A Time Tracking Adventure

I often feel like there’s not enough time for all that I would like to do.  But is that really true?  I’ve decided to track how I spend my time for a week to find out for sure.  I’ve done this before and found it to be so effective and clarifying.

Would you like to join me?

If so, download my free 7-Day Time Tracking Log.  Let’s take this adventure into the labyrinth of time together.  If 7 days seems too long, then try it out for 3 days or even 1 day.

Time Tracking Log

The purpose of time tracking is to understand how you’re actually spending your time.

You’ll discover:

  • What you’re really doing, not what you think you’re doing.
  • Where you use your time efficiently, where you  waste time.
  • How much time it actually takes to do a particular task.  Often, we grossly underestimate the time involved in any particular activity.  At least I do!

Some people say they’re afraid to track their time.  They’re afraid to find out the truth.  I understand, but it might also be one of the most liberating experiments you’ll ever do.

Each week offers you 168 hours – no more, no less.  I want to find out how I’m using those hours.  With a clear picture, I’ll be able to reorganize, prioritize, or eliminate to decrease stress and increase contentment.

Are you in?  Here’s my free time tracking log if you’d like to join me.

Do you know how you spend your time – really?  How do you feel about the prospect of tracking your time?  I would love to hear.

Thank you for reading.  If you have a moment, please help me reach others by sharing this post.  If you’re new, please subscribe for free updates by email.  With love, Sandra

Previous

Good Links for a Happy Life: From Calm to Love

Next

33 Mantras to Quickly Calm Your Stress Response

29 Comments

  1. Marjorie Cooper

    Excellent and inspiring article!!
    I am in!!
    I had a car accident and as a result a traumatic brain injury in 2009.
    Since then I have had to rewire and readjust my brain and my life. I need minimum 10 hours of sleep a day up to about 16. Mainly I seem to do well on 12 hours. When my brain says sleep that is what I must do.
    After almost 6 years I am finally ready to track my time without getting depressed about it! I try to make my time with my children my best time!
    I look forward to tracking and then prioritizing what I do.
    Talk soon,
    Marj

    • Dear Marjorie,

      What a huge adjustment. I think it’s so courageous that you are taking the time needed to heal. So often we try to skip that part but it never really works on the long run. I’m inspired that you feel ready to track your time without getting depressed about it. That’s so important, isn’t it! It sounds like your priorities are clear and I’m glad your time with your children is your best time.

  2. Well, how perfect! I’ve been thinking I need to do just this. Track my time and energy spent lately vs how many things I’m getting done. I’m in! Thanks, Sandra!

    • Hi Amy,

      I love synchronicity! Glad you’re in. I hope you find the process helpful. Thanks for connecting and letting us know.

  3. Sandra, I’m in. I would not be surprised to see where I spend me time. This is a great time of year to make shift and create change.

    I’m looking forward to spending more time on your blog. It is very inspiring.

    • Fantastic, Eydie! I agree, this is a good time of the year to make adjustments before the holiday season. Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you’re here.

  4. Love this, and i will join you as I really have so much to joyfully achieve before 2015 rocks in and in the past i have been less than successful at tracking my time. so I am in will start today even if it is after 10 am here.
    namaste

    • Wonderful, Suzie. It can be tricky to track time so I would suggest to just do the best you can. If you miss a bit here and there it will be okay.. Good luck and I wish you the very best in joyfully achieving all your goals before 2015 comes in.

  5. Jean Sampson

    I know where a lot of my time goes 🙂 🙂 On the computer! But I will try it for a day and see what that tells me. What I also need to really pay attention to is how much time I spend in the studio doing “avoidance activities”—-Once I get started painting or whatever, I am just fine. But getting started is really tough!
    I think just observing this will make a difference. We will see! 🙂

    • You made me smile, Jean! I think it’s okay to waste some time. We don’t want to be too rigid. That wouldn’t be any fun. 🙂 Still, it will probably be helpful to see how much times is spent on those particular activities. Good luck!

  6. I’ve done this before. I think it can be very useful if you are trying to become more productive in your life. I currently am just taking things day by day and going with the flow and not forcing anything so I will not be able to participate in the time tracking thing. I have found I tend to be happier and only a little less productive when I live this way.

    • I like that Sebastian! I’m more inclined to your way for sure. At the moment though, I want to find out how much time I’m spending on certain areas of my work. So it’s a good, short term option for me.

      I’m happy you know what’s makes you happy and that you don’t feel dominated by the pressure to be super productive.

  7. I tend to grossly underestimate how much time something will take. I’ve come to the conclusion that I should usually double or triple my original estimate 🙂
    I must confess that I’m feeling some resistance to the idea of filling out a time sheet….hmm I wonder why?

    • Hi Sharon,

      I’m like that too and I like your idea of doubling or tripling the original estimate. That leads to less stress too. Thanks for highlighting this for us because I think it’s a common problem and if we can get a handle on it, it will change our life for the better.

      That’s okay if you’re feeling resistance to time tracking right now. Maybe it’s not the right time for you. But it could be you’re a little nervous about what you’ll discover. Whatever you decide, I’m sure it will be the right decision for you in the moment.

  8. I haven’t tried this before. I guess I have felt it would limit my creativity or ability to just go with what I want to do in the moment. I know I don’t use my time wisely, so I will try this out starting Monday. I did download Nozbe (a productivity tool) a few months ago. While I don’t use it daily, you enter how long each task takes. It gets you thinking about time.

    • Hi Wendy,

      I fully understand why time tracking might not appeal to everyone and may not even be the best option for them. Some people are flow types and it just works best for them to go with the flow.

      It seems like there are quite a few productivity apps out there. It’s good to hear about the one your using.

      As you suggest, the whole point really is to consider how we are using our time, not necessarily to push ourselves further. If you decide to do the time-tracking, I hope it’s fruitful for you. If not, enjoy going with the flow! I think that’s perfect too.

  9. I haven’t been officially tracking my time the last couple of weeks, but have been intentionally noticing what I do each day. As a result, Twitter and Facebook have been removed from my phone, and I’ve changed my email to a manual check instead of auto. Guess what? I’ve gotten more work done.

    • That’s fantastic! I’m so delighted for you. I think intention is powerful. And, it surely has been for you. Thanks for sharing your story.

  10. This is great. I have done some time tracking lately and did cut through a lot of crap. It is amazing how much time I was wasteing on stuff I didn’t even care about. I cut down significantly on social media and internet browsing but there were also some personal things I thought I have to do until I did some further inquiry.

    • How wonderful, Corinna! This is such an inspiration for those of us just starting this journey. I love that made such useful discoveries. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  11. This is great–been looking for some kind of time tracker. Now, to steel myself to do it!

  12. This is so imporatant-the time issue and the older I get the more I want to make all my time the best. Yesterday I couldn’t work in joy, so I took the morning off. Today I went on a 3 hour hike in the mountains with Hubs. That’s how I’m spending my time. Then I’m reinvigorated and get more done in less time.

    • Beautiful! I’m so impressed by how your spending more time in nature and reap such amazing rewards. It’s sometimes seems like a paradox but yet so true that when we take time off, we come back with the energy to get more done. I agree, age gives us a different perspective on time and I want to to make all my time the best too.

  13. This is a great time tracker that you shared Sandra, thanks for sharing this!

    I can finally see where I am heading to and what activities I have to cut down to prioritize my ME time. I am allocating 30 minutes too for my victory journal. I need time to put things into my journal as it can help me build my self belief when I am down.I read it to reflect on my past successes to encourage me to move on and get that goal.

    • I’m so glad you like the time tracker, Patricia. I love the idea of a victory journal. Thanks for sharing it. You definitely deserve that 30 minutes of self-focused time and I hope it gives you all the confidence in the world.

  14. I absolutely need to do this. I just came off the busiest time of the year for me and during that time I just did what was necessary to stay afloat (but with a few days of intentional rest and self-care). I kept thinking about all that I would do when I had more time. Now that opportunity is here and I find myself just being “lazy” and not getting my personal stuff done, stuff I was looking forward to doing. I told myself to take it easy and eventually I’ll get back on the track to what makes me happy. I suspect that I’m not headed there SO that is a very long way of saying I’ve printed out your charts in order to get a better idea of how I spend my time. I know this is a good activity and I thank you for making this available.

    • Hi Manisha,

      That happens to me sometimes too. After I complete a project, I feel a bit disoriented and not sure where to go next. It sounds like you needed the rest though! I hope the time-tracker will help you re-focus now. You’re very welcome.

  15. Great idea. Knowing how you are actually spending your time is great especially if you want to manage your time and prioritize your things to do. I’m in!

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén