“I don’t have time to work out today”
“Mom, do I have time to play Minecraft?”
“If my day goes smoothly, I’ll have enough time to stop to have coffee with a friend in between seeing my first client and going to the grocery store”.
These are the statements that I find myself saying and hearing throughout a typical day. This post was inspired by a recent conversation I had with a friend, who started a sentence with “When I have time…”, then quickly changed his thought to say “When I MAKE time…”.
So, thanks to Gilbert for the reminder that this shift in perspective is one that we can all use!
Here are some points to consider regarding time and its affect on you:
- Remember that time is relative: when doing things that are unpleasant (and even painful), time seems to “drag on”, whereas doing things that are enjoyable, time “flies”.My son reminds me of this often…asking how many more days until special events, etc. Didn’t your next birthday seem so FAR AWAY when you were a kid??? Now…not so much…as we get older we appreciate how little time we actually have between birthdays.
- Time exists simply in the mind…we created conventional “minutes”, “hours”, etc. for consistency’s sake. Remembering this can help to eliminate that “time crunch” we place on ourselves all too often.
- How does time impact your day? Most of us UNDER-estimate the time it will take us to complete tasks. After the fact, we OVER-estimate the amount of actual high-priority “work” that was done.
Creating a time log will help you visually see how much time you actually spend on things that are high- and low-priority, on things that are personal versus work-related, etc. At least once per hour, refer to your log, and jot down your activity/activities (at a bare minimum, try to write this down after lunch, after dinner, and before bed).
Categories to include (feel free to add more as you see fit):
Work-related phone calls / E-mails
Personal phone calls / E-mails
High-priority projects / work
Routine work (paying bills, e-mails, etc.)
Eating / Cooking / Preparing Food
Personal Hygiene / Dressing
Travel time (for errands, work, etc.)
Exercise / Sports / Other Recreation
Spiritual Time / Prayer
Self-Care (DO NOT SKIP THIS!!! Self-care helps you to be a better person in all areas of your life…work and personal)
Sample Time Log:
Activity & Time:
Waking through Lunch:
Stretching in bed (20 min.)
Get dressed / grooming (10 min.)
Prepare breakfast for self and family (15 min.)
Eating / socializing with family (15 min.)
Commute / personal development (listening to book on tape) (45 min.)
Meeting (60 min.)
Routine Work: Phone Messages / E-Mail (60 min.)
Daydreaming (5 min.)
Socializing (with friend) (15 min.)
Meeting (10 min. late) (45 min.)
Productive, high-priority work (prepare for interview) (45 min.)
Lunch with friend (60 min.)
Lunch through Dinner:
Productive, high-priority work (write article) (90 min.)
Phone Call (personal) (5 min.)
Daydreaming (5 min.)
Low-priority work (60 min.)
Socializing with co-worker (15 min.)
Phone Call (work-related) (30 min.)
Commute / personal phone call (45 min.)
Shopping (30 min.)
Mail (10 min.)
Phone Call (personal) (20 min.)
Exercise (30 min.)
Shower / Dress (20 min.)
Cook & make lunches for tomorrow, while watching news on TV (45 min.)
Eat with family (30 min.)
After Dinner until Bedtime:
Clean kitchen (15 min.)
Phone Call (personal) (10 min.)
Help with homework / bedtime routine with kids (60 min.)
Get ready for bed / reading in bed (45 min.)
Turn Off Light (30 min. later than planned)
By keeping a time log, you become more accountable to yourself about how you spend your time. You see clear patterns of under- or over-estimation of time spent on tasks. And you may notice that you spend more time on the phone (or social media) than you realized (guilty!).
Give it a try, and see if this helps you create more time to do the things you WANT to do, rather than simply focusing so much on the things you HAVE to do. And remember, you HAVE the time…you just have to MAKE the time!
This post is part of the FYB “31 Days to Quiet the Voices in Your Head” series.
Read more about it HERE.