More Time for Time

Most of us have a general idea about how we spend our time: eat, sleep, travel, work, email, texting, social media, a little fun, and so forth. But most people cannot accurately state the amount of time they spend in each activity.

I suggest that you keep a time log for at least a week, longer if you can tolerate it. Keeping a time log is a much more challenging exercise than the spending log. Spending events occur periodically throughout a day, with some days having no spending. However, the passing of time is always happening and we are always doing something with that time. Consequently, recording everything we do with each moment of time is almost impossible.

Grouping activities is the only “sane” way to do it. For example, most of us have a morning routine before leaving for work: awake, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, drop the kids off, etc. Instead of recording minutes on each, record the total time spent each morning getting ready for work. On non-working days if you have a substantially different routine, then record accordingly. If you have to commute to and from work, then record the average time it takes each day. For work time, record the average number of hours spent at work each day.

Recurring activities that are fairly routine are easy to account for. It is all the other “free” time where the log needs to be more detailed, and will be harder to keep, but will prove most beneficial in managing this scarce resource.

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