Where does all of your time run off to? Last week, we talked about valuing our time in terms of money and life, relative to the activities we choose to engage in during our waking hours.
Let's do a quick review of those areas again, and then let's lay out a plan to track our time for one week so that we have a real sense of where we are choosing to spend our time. Until you have a time value baseline, it will be hard to have a real sense for how you're setting up your life relative to time and what you may want to change to make it better.
Here's a quick review of the money and life dimensions of time value with some examples. Remember, that we laid out these dimensions in a quadrant of high and low value on both dimensions of money and life.
In the high life-low money value portion of the quadrant, we saw things like relationships and eating well, et cetera. In the low life-low money portion of the quadrant, we saw things like accounting, and bookkeeping, and chores. On the low life-high money value portion of the quadrant were things like sales or your job. And in the high life-high money portion of the quadrant, we see what this blog is all about - living your true sole purpose and getting paid well to do it! That's the bullseye, and that's where we want to focus. Finally, in the lower left hand of the slide, we see the negative value sides of these dimensions, or what I call the Life, Money, and Time Wasteland where there are activities like escapisms and addictions, et cetera.
So how do you create a time value baseline? You do it by recording your waking time in 15 minute increments and assigning that time to one of these five areas.
Depending on how your brain likes to organize information, there are a couple different approaches to tracking this data for a week.
Calendar Time Blocks - If you're like me, you plan your calendar down to the 15 minute increments. You can use a paper calendar, a Google calendar, Outlook calendar, whatever is best for you. You could also use colors to make it fun. See the example here on the slide. The pro of using calendar time blocks is that it's easy to ensure that you've accounted for all your waking time. The con of using calendar time blocks is that it's a little harder to add up at the end of the week.
Tabular List - See the example here on the slide. The pro of using a tabular list is that it's easy to come up with your category totals at the end of the week. Of course, the con of using a tabular list is that you may miss some time blocks in your day.
Choose which way is best for you. There's probably another way that I haven't thought of yet, but these are the two most obvious. The main point here is that you classify your time spent for a week.
At the end of the week, there's a little math to take care of.
Here's an example.
Let's assume you sleep eight hours a night and have 16 waking hours a day or a 112 waking hours in a week. You spend:
But where's the other 36%? It's down in the wasteland, you're wasting your life away!
Whatever your numbers are, it doesn't matter at this point. The important point is establishing a baseline. So, get that baseline set, let it soak in, and we'll be back next week to talk about whether you like the picture that you see in your baseline, or whether or not you want to make it better? Have a great week!
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