Momentum Mondays: Where Does Your Time Go?

Once you start working, you get a paycheque every two weeks (usually), and if you were to ask someone, “where does your money go?” most people can ball park where they spend it: “oh, I guess I spend about $900 on rent, $400 on food, $400 on going out, and save a bit”, or whatever the breakdown is. The reason why people budget is it helps refine that image. You go from rough numbers to exact numbers. However, what if I were to switch one word in the questions – from money to time.

The fact is many people have absolutely no idea where their time goes. Sure, maybe they could ball park work, but other than that they are usually in the dark. So here is my suggestion for a Momentum Monday, however it’s kind of a weeklong activity: for as long as you possibly can this week, record your time in 30 minute slots. I would suggest you try to do it until Sunday, but one day is better than nothing. In fact, I think if you can get yourself to do it for one day, you will see the value and do it for longer, so here is what you are going to do:

  • Every half hour, starting when you wake up, record what you are doing. Round up your time, and if you doing a bunch of quick activities summarize as best you can. Try using categories that you will remember when you review it later on in the week: working, eating, gym, television, internet, facebook, reading, social, going out, etc.
  • At the end of the week, create a spread sheet that has the uses and time spent in each use, creating a vertical list. Then sum these up: this represents your waking week
  • Now, take each activity as a percent of the total – what do your results look like?

Don’t get me wrong, this activity is going to be HARD. You will find it hard to keep on the path and keep recording your time allotments, but it’s worth it. The insight you are going to get out of this will be worth every drop of sweat it takes to get done. You might find out that you are over allotting time to certain areas, or under allotting it to others. I have done this exercise – and continue to do it – several times. Each time I find it just as valuable.  Either way, just like creating a budget helps clarify your spending allocations, doing the above exercise will clarify your time habits.

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