What I Realized From a Week of Monitoring My Time

Final week, impressed Laura Vanderkam’s ebook, Off the Clock, I tracked every little thing I did each 15 minutes for seven days. Evidently, it was fairly eye-opening! On this submit, I’ll share what I discovered…

First off, I’ve to say that I’ve heard of the thought of time monitoring for years. However up till I began listening to Off the Clock, I used to be not satisfied it was well worth the effort. It simply felt like a whole lot of additional busywork.

In case you’ve adopted right here for awhile, you most likely know that I exploit a hybrid of Google Calendar + a Each day Time-Blocked To Do Listing to remain on monitor. I’m pretty environment friendly and productive nature and have a tendency to have a fairly excessive capability and achieve fairly a bit most days.

In Off the Clock, Laura shares how helpful it may be to really see and monitor what we’re doing each minute of every single day, as a substitute of simply going what we really feel or assume we most likely are doing a lot of the day. I used to be curious if monitoring my time would reveal areas the place I may enhance or if it will simply be a whole lot of time spent filling in little rectangles on a paper for every week! I wouldn’t know till I really tried time monitoring, would I?

My philosophy is, “Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!” So I downloaded my trackers and obtained began. Right here’s what I discovered:

1. General, I exploit my time fairly correctly.

I used to be inspired total this train. I noticed that my Google Calendar + Time-Blocked To Do Listing Technique actually does assist me to (principally) maximize my time every day in order that I’m not frittering away a whole lot of hours or spending a whole lot of time on issues which can be simply senseless. Nearly all of my day is targeted on areas which can be my priorities. This was good to know and a really constructive end result of this train.

2. I spend a whole lot of time on Instagram.

The shocking results of monitoring my time? How a lot time I spend on Instagram! I like Instagram, it’s a giant a part of our enterprise technique, it’s life-giving for me, and it brings in a whole lot of revenue for us. However I nonetheless was actually shocked so as to add up the hours and notice how a lot time I used to be spending on Instagram in every week!

3. I test Instagram greater than I noticed.

This was my largest takeaway, far! I had no concept that I used to be typically checking Instagram 3-Four instances per hour!!

Certain, there are a lot of instances once I’m with a buddy or at church or in a gathering or hanging out with my household and I’m utterly offline and never taking a look at my telephone. However, at the least throughout the working hours of the day, it wasn’t unusual in any respect for me to be checking Instagram a number of instances in an hour.

And, much more shocking, these instances once I thought I’d “simply test in for a minute” typically ended up being extra like 3-5 minutes of time on Instagram and even longer! Whereas most of my time on Instagram is spent partaking with my viewers (it’s pretty frequent for me to reply to 300-600 messages/feedback every single day) and producing content material, I additionally do get sucked into senseless scrolling.

What I’m Altering As a Results of Time Monitoring

General, I made a decision I don’t want to vary that a lot, however I do need to be far more conscious of how a lot time I’m spending on my telephone — particularly on Instagram. I need to have the ability to proceed to write down and report content material and tales there and I need to proceed to interact with everybody who feedback or messages (even when it’s simply liking the remark/message as I typically do, to let the sender/commentor know I noticed and browse it), however I really feel like I can do that with no need to test in 3-Four instances an hour!

So right here’s what I’m altering/am engaged on;

  • I set a timer on Instagram for the period of time I need to spend per day. That is simply to remind me to be cognizant of the period of time I spend on Instagram.
  • I’m attempting to go away my telephone within the different room extra typically so I’m not distracted and simply mindlessly selecting it up.
  • I’m engaged on taking note of once I’m selecting up my telephone to test Instagram. Is it as a result of I’m attempting to keep away from doing one thing I must do (“productive procrastination”)? Is it as a result of I’m feeling lonely or unhappy or bored? Is it to seek out some form of affirmation? Is it simply out of behavior?

I’m additionally realizing that I can get much more performed if I decide up the telephone and test in for a 10-minute block of time each hour or each different hour than I get performed checking in 3-Four instances an hour for five minutes every time. I additionally notice that that is serving to me keep extra targeted on the non-Instagram duties at hand and get extra achieved — and have extra free time and wiggle room in my work day!

Learn how to Get Your Free Time Trackers

Laura Vanderkam gives free time monitoring downloads on her website whenever you join her electronic mail e-newsletter. You’ll get a 15-minute tracker and a 30-minute tracker — and also you’ll have them in PDF, Google Sheets, and an Excel file. Choose which one works greatest for you. Or, decide the one you assume will be just right for you, keep on with that for every week, and if that doesn’t work, strive one other one!

I selected to make use of the 15-minute PDF as a result of I’m extra of a pen and paper lady and actually keep away from spreadsheets if I will help it. (Though I’ve to confess that the truth that Laura has tracked her time for months and months on spreadsheets and might inform you precisely how a lot time she spends on just about each single class of her life is fairly inspiring! It nearly made me need to rethink my “I don’t do spreadsheets” stance… simply because it will be actually cool to have these stats!)

One factor I shortly discovered is that monitoring your time in 15-minute increments means you do a whole lot of monitoring. I imply, 15 minutes goes fairly shortly! This week, I’ve been utilizing the 30-minute spreadsheet and it feels extra doable. Nonetheless, it additionally looks like I typically have loads to place into every line as a result of you may match a whole lot of little duties into 30 minute increments!

Have you ever ever tried monitoring your time? If that’s the case, I’d love to listen to what you discovered from it!

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