Where Do I (actually) Find the Time: Four Easy Steps
In my recent post "Where do you find the time?" I realized that I talked about how important time is to me and that I guard it. Still, I failed to share any identifiable way that I capture my time. If I want to be productive, it starts with managing my time well. I am sharing how I make the most of my day in four easy steps.
Step 1: Identify time as a precious nonrenewable resource and make the decision to utilize it better. Seemingly silly, but crucial step.
Step 2: Take inventory of what is taking your time. Write it out. Capture anything that takes more than 30 minutes away from your schedule. You will be surprised at how it adds up.
Hour by Hour
Here is an example of what my personal hour by hour break down looks like. (Weekday)
- 24 H ( 100%) There are only 24 hours in a day. I start by taking out the things that take the most time.
- -10 H (41.67%) Work and commute. I am grateful to love what I do. I am equally grateful for my amazing co-workers. We have a tough job but together it is better. Commute and drop off is an hour- but this is some of my most productive time. I can enjoy quiet time, books on tape, or catch up on phone calls
- -08 H (33.33%) Days that I get a full 8 hours of sleep are rare. Just when I think I am going to get it- one of my children wake me up in the middle of the night. It is laughable. Seven is my mainstay. I can survive on six. With only five hours of sleep I get pretty testy. Anything less than five is a joke and I am not in on it. On the other hand, I protect my kids sleep like no other. They need at least 10 hours of sleep a night. They need their sleep for growth, repair, and brain development.
- -1.5 H (6.25%) Getting ready for work and school including hot breakfast.
- -01 H (4.17%) Swim practice for girls.
- -01 H (4.17%) Make dinner. Eat.
- -01 H (4.17%) Bedtime Routine +/- Bedtime Shenanigans: I am thirsty. I am hungry. My knee hurts. I need a band aid. I need another hug. My eye hurts. I need to poop, etc. I am onto them. They need to diversify their tactics. I will call their bluff on every last one of them except the poop. That is usually true.
- -1.5 H (6.25%) Personal development. I have to fit in exercise, reading, writing, relationship building, decompression, and tomorrow's prep into this window. Depending on how productive I am- I may borrow at least one hour from the sleep bank. TV and unchecked social media time are easy time sucks for me so, in general, I make the choice not watch live TV with the exception of sports.
- All 24 hours are purposed.
Step 3: What is on my existing schedule that can be abbreviated, deleted or delegated from my list without significant collateral damage? Am I properly using downtime or is it simply wasted? I must protect some time to let my mind heart and soul breathe? #mindheartsoulfreedom
Step 4: What would I like to add to my schedule? It is easy to choose things that align with my best self, but there is only so much time in any given day and I must be selective. I remember that if I am smart about it, I can find a balance that is right for me.
This helps me manage my time on a daily basis and be more aware of time spent on any given day. Otherwise, it is easy to let time get away from me.