My Mastermind Group read the book, ‘The Compound Effect‘ by Darren Hardy early last year. In the book, Darren talks about the importance of measuring your time to ensure you’re spending time on the right things. One of the women in our group tracked her time for an entire month and reported back to the group what it had done. She said that it made her more aware of where she was wasting time in her day and thought it was a valuable exercise. I decided to try it.
First I tried paper and pen and wow, that did not work. I forgot the notebook or I couldn’t find a pen. That low-tech method was not consistent.
Then I started trying different time tracker apps for my iPhone. I’m rarely without my phone. The time tracker app I liked the best is ‘Eternity.’ They offer a free version to try. I quickly upgraded to the paid version when I realized the app could do everything I wanted. Once I set up my categories (this took about 30 minutes), I religiously started tracking my time.
Immediately, I noticed one thing: irritation. I had to physically remove myself for whatever situation I was in to pick up my phone and switch my task on my phone. This seemed counter-intuitive to the idea of ‘being present‘ or ‘be here now.’ I worked through that pretty quickly by making a switch where it really mattered: I made sure that ‘family’ was just one main category without any sub categories to keep the phone out of my hand as much as possible with my kids. I did design categories for ‘play’ to ensure that I was measuring how much time I worked out, saw my friends and did date night with my sweet husband but kept them to a minimum so I could ‘be here now’ when I was having valuable relationship time.
This is my work life broken down into major categories for a year: