1st May, 2018

Precious Time

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Matt Raglands time tracking challenge and have been going with it (on and off) since then.
The general concept of the challenge is fairly easy: The whole 24 hours of the day are split in 15 minute blocks (after the idea of this Wait But Why article). For every block, you fill in what you did in that block. Since all of that happens in an A6 notebook, there's room for one word per block, so you'll have to decide what the predominant activity during that time was (If this explnanation does not make sense to you, I recommend you check out the video).
I try to fill 28 to 32 of these blocks with sleep (7 to 8 hours) and not more than 36 (9 hours) with work. I'm still working on that work part. But except for those two rather big chunks of time, I do not evaluate the collected data too much.

In contrast to Matt, I don't track everything I'm doing over the day to find out what I'm spending time with and from which activities to get time from if I want to spend it on something else. That was the reason I started it in the beginning, but I only really transferred the data to a spreadsheet once and didn't get much from it.
I'm writing down everything I do to make more conscious decisions about what I spent my time with right in that moment. See, I'm not trying to be productive every single minute of my day (that's pretty much the highway to burnout, I guess), but if I'm spending time (time I'm never getting back, ever) on something, I want to be damn sure about that decision.
I want to be sure that I'm aware about what I'm going to do and I want to be sure I'm giving it 100%. If I'm jotting down 6 blocks of Leisure Time, I want to make the conscious decision to do that, not get hung up on a YouTube video while I wanted to write something and then another and a third.

Knowing I'll have to be aware of what I'm doing in order to be able to write it down helps a lot with that. When I know I'll have to write down "Leisure" for the next few blocks, I can evaluate if I actually want to do that or if there is something that would make me happier in the long run. And if I decide to hang around on YouTube the next 45 Minutes, boy that will be good 45 Minutes.
Ever since starting the challenge, I feel like I'm actively doing things, instead of just standing there and having things happen to me until the day is over.

© 2024 Chris Jarling