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Try Time Tracking
The key to finding enough time in your day for everything you want to do is to become more aware of how you’re spending the time that you have. Of course, this is easier said than done, isn’t it? How often do you find yourself opening your laptop to quickly check something, only to find that two hours have passed as you went down a social media rabbit hole? No one intends to watch kitten videos for half an hour, but it happens. The problem is that you can’t get that time back, and you could have spent that time doing something of your choosing, something that makes you happy.
Time is our most precious resource. We can’t actually make more of it. All we can do is spend it wisely on what’s really important to us. To make sure that happens, I suggest you keep a time log for a few days.
Grab a notebook and pen that you can carry with you wherever you go. This is a great addition to a bullet journal too. Set an alert on your phone to go off every 30 minutes to an hour and then write down how you’ve spent your time. Don’t judge yourself, don’t edit. If you’ve scrolled through Facebook for the past half an hour, write it down. Keep this up for all of your waking hours for a few days. A week of time tracking will be super helpful because you’ll be able to see how you spend your time on weekdays vs. weekends.
How Does Time Tracking Help You Make Time?
The simple act of having to write all of your activity down and interrupting yourself periodically throughout the day to check in will help you become more aware of how you spent your time. It’s much harder to get sucked into a Netflix binge, or mindlessly relax by scrolling through Instagram and playing your favorite mobile game when you have to report on it. It makes you stop and think: Is this really how I want to spend my time right now? If it is, go for it. But if it’s not, then you can decide to do something else.
The point is that keeping this time journal gives you awareness, and through awareness, control of how you’re spending your time.
It also rather effectively teaches you that you can “make” time for what you want to do. Scheduling time for people, activities, and things that are important to you is of course helpful. Your schedule or planner should be part of your time log. As you start to become more aware of how you spend your waking hours, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that there’s plenty of time left for what you actually want to do because you’ll stop doing things that aren’t important.
Let’s Do This!
Give time tracking a try for a week and then set aside a little time to study your time log. Do you find trends emerge that would allow you to recover more time on a regular basis? Often, we get in habits that we continue to do without thinking. If you want to find time to get back into reading, your time log may show you that you spend 30 minutes each morning on your phone while you wake up and drink your coffee. That’s half an hour every morning you could spend reading instead. You just have to change your habit. Find three or four habits that you can tweak and work to your advantage. Before long, you’ll have more time for all the things you enjoy but thought you had no time to do.
Hooray for More Time!! Leave me a comment – tell me what you would do with an extra hour every day.
Need a planner to keep track of all of your time? I recommend the Erin Condren Monthly planner. Try the daily planner too if you want to really have room to schedule things!
Want an easy way to track new habits? There's two different habit trackers in my subscriber library.
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Check out the Other posts in this Making Time Series
How To Know What you Really Want Out of Life is the first. 3 more will be coming in the next week or two, and I'll add them here then!