If someone throwing money away could be considered insane, then shouldn’t someone throwing time away be similarly judged? Because unlike money, wasted time can never be recovered. I’m no different, and even extremely guilty of this, even if my blog deceptively presents the best version of myself.
Therefore I decided to track a regular day in my life (once every quarter), make a chart to see where the leakages are and proceed to make major improvements. This might help you to recover a little…or a lot of time in your day.
Procedures and recommendations:
- Using an Excel file, I recorded what I did every 30 minutes. If I did more than one thing in that 30 minutes, I just typed in both, assuming roughly 15 minutes for each activity (for example, eating & reading at the same time). I’ve included the Excel file at the bottom for download.
- I tracked just one day, April 18th. Tracking 2 or 3 days would probably give a better reading when averaged out, but it adds more effort to an already busy schedule.
- Most important is to just treat it as a typical day and be completely honest with oneself.
- If your routine is completely different on weekends versus weekdays then it’s better to do a separate one for each.
- I don’t feel that I need to get substantially more sleep than I currently do. Sleep quality/deep REM sleep can definitely be improved, but my overall sleep duration is fine. That’s why I’ve taken it off the pie chart. The chart will show only how I use my time during my waking hours.
Results and Analysis
- Time spent playing with/taking care of the boys is fine (300 mins).
- Chores are taking up a lot of time since we are under quarantine (240 mins), maybe once the pandemic is over I can get the part-time cleaner to clean once every fortnight. In the meantime I will also (1) try to do things faster, and (2) reduce clutter by minimizing junk. Less junk -> less clutter -> less upkeep & maintenance -> less distractions -> more time!
- 240 mins spent on Online (180 mins) + Social Media (60 mins) is just mind-boggling. Even if I’m using it for writing research, this is inexcusable. I’ll cut it down to a maximum of 60 mins per day.
- Another crazy realization – I spend more almost 2.5 hours per day Eating!! (135 mins) Since I’m still overweight and need to go harder on intermittent fasting, I’ll replace breakfast or lunch with just green tea and maybe some fruit. Another aspect to this is that I like to read when I’m eating; that might make me stretch out the eating times more without being conscious of it. Of course, that means internet time is even higher…!
- Writing, e-commerce and working out are areas I want to spend more time on, so hopefully i can increase this significantly before the next tracking.
So all in, I’ve managed to identify around 4 hours of wasted time I could be using more productively. But I’m an extreme case. Even if you’re less chronic than me, you should at least identify 100 minutes (which is about 10% of normal waking time) to reclaim.
Here is the simple Excel file I made.