Results of my time log analysis challenge revealed and all time fav. reco
The past week has been unsettling - thanks to crazy winters. My hands feel perpetually cold and I have lost count of how many layers I wear now. I was struggling to wake up early but I am back on track bitches (like literally)
(If you know me in real life, you know I use that a lot so why lose it here)
Let's get started bitches!
Time log analysis Challenge
In my last post, I asked you to join a time tracking challenge. It was simply a practice to note down what you did in the past hour or so as frequently as you can throughout the day.
Inspired by the mega productivity martial Laura Vanderkam and of course Apple's 'screen time' report is a bitch. (Okay, now you know me, don't mind me getting comfy)
Before revealing the results, I am gonna give you a little context behind the title. I started an online discussion series called Breaking Bounds in 2020 about contemporary topics where we used to discuss issues like time management, productivity etc.
I hosted a session on 'Getting Things Done' - about productivity, habit building and it's ilk.
Here is the presentation from the session.
If one of your resolutions was to be more productive this year, thiz for ya!
(If you haven't clicked on it yet, let me tell you this session was signed up by >100 participants)
Before I get sidelined again, here are the results:
To give you a little background and some caveats:
Productive tasks include studying and working out and reading.
It is my last few days at work so I am wrapping up tasks hence I don't have to spend 9 hrs at it.
Essentials include shower, meal time, some much needed breaks etc.
'Try to avoid' tasks include unnecessary or elongated breaks.
Outliers are activities like errands and 'This is Us' Thursdays. (Can't avoid that :p)
I did all the tracking on excel and if you want to plunge yourself in my personal life, here's the detailed file. (Boi, I adore number crunching on excel)
Ideally I should have done it for a week to get more clear insights, but I realized most of my days look the same so there shouldn't be much dispersion.
Productivity: I spent ~10 hours in total on work and studying which amounts to 60% of my time. Since it's the last few days at work, going further it would be just studying, which is not there I plan to be. I need to ramp this up to prolly 12-15 hours cause I have an exam in 112 days.
Essentials: I spent ~90 min (<20%) on essential activities which was my goal. Trying to keep it under 2 hours. I am glad I was able to do that because this includes reading my essential business newsletters + newspaper + a little amount spent on web series with meals.
I wouldn't make any changes in this strata.
Try to avoid: This was a major eye opener. I spent ~4 hrs (23%) which comprises of elongated breaks, gestation period during task transition etc. I would want to reduce it to under 1.5 hrs and move it to the productivity basket.
(Gosh! I was too embarrassed to find out when I summarized the results, but hey it's a reminder to do better)
Outlier: These are tasks which happen once in a week so I am not worried about them. They form <10% on a consolidated basis and I need them to keep myself sane.
Now, of course all this tracking is prone to a few deflections here and there cause who can track the mighty lord. However, I tried to be as precise as I can.
I do believe it is a little robotic but like budgeting it made me come to a realization on how I would want my ideal day to look like. (which should be close to this)
(You know the deal with ideals right, they are too ideal but aim for the moon fellas)
I am aiming to move time spent on 'try to avoid tasks' to productive hours and introducing more breaks moving out time from outliers.
Why I want you to do this for yourself is because it makes you realize where you stand and where there is a scope for improvement.
If a day's tracking could give such immersive results, I am sure a week's worth of tracking would be more insightful.
While you are it, I would recommend you to practice 'Calendar Blocking' as well. Here's a sneak peek on how I do it.
It enables you to employ floors and caps to allocate your time eventually helping you to stay on track.
The only pitfall is it keeps you on your toes always, looking forward to the next task, does give some anxiety as well. So, use it wisely.
Rest assured, the activity is gonna be an eye opener for sure if looking at your screen time is not enough.
Time's a bitch, indeed!
At this point, I want to emphasize
I am a little psycho (which you should realize by now)
This schedule align with my goals which is psycho studying right now because I have an exam coming up.
It is imperative you align your goals with the schedule, align your priorities with your time.
What works for me might not work for you!
There is no right way of doing things. You do you.
Coming to my all time fav. recommendation, which you will find in the presentation as well if where I heard the quote in the cover picture for the first time.
It's a podcast from Joe Rogan with Naval Ravikant.
It's probably the best podcast I have heard in years. The calm with which Naval answers everything will make you sink in your chair.
Check it out here:
Last but not the least, if you think you have too much time in your life and you don't want to waste it doing all this robotic shiz, you definitely gotta read this.
Tim Urban does this crazy exercise of breaking down human years into activities, coming to a shivering end on how less time we have on this planet.
This is it folks! This is all we have. Let's get working and living at the same time. Balance is all what our life hinges on.
Let me know if you also tracked your time during the week. What is your analysis? How are you going to change your scheduling?
Would love to know your insights. :)