Time is something we all have the same amount of and none of us can get more once it’s gone. That makes it one of our most invaluable assets in this life.
“I don’t have time for that.” I’ve said it and most people I talk to say it. It’s a common first thought when we think about starting to exercise, eat healthier, improve our relationships, work on our mindsets or spiritual lives. Basically, any improvement we need to make becomes just another thing we don’t have time for. But how well are we really using our time? I can tell you from personal experience, I have wasted a TON of time in the past. For example, at the beginning of 2021, I deleted both my personal and business accounts on social media. The amount of free time I suddenly had was astounding. Almost embarrassing.
I still waste time in other ways and I now have my business back on social media and find myself getting sucked in every once in a while. I’m not saying we should be on a strict schedule of using every single second wisely. But I have definitely gotten better about being intentional with what I do with the invaluable asset of time. There are always tweaks we can make in order to make room for the truly important things. It’s a process and it starts with paying close attention. That idea again that’s always popping up with me – being intentional requires attention.
How we use our time determines the quality of our lives. Let’s face it, our habits create our reality. For the most part, if you’re struggling in life and you reverse engineer your situation to find the problem, it’s probably going to come back to how you use your time daily. We are creatures of habit and falling into harmful habits and routines is much easier than creating healthy, happy habits. The path of least resistance is crowded, my friends. You are not alone if you’re struggling. The good news is, we can live on purpose instead of just surviving each day. But before you can start using your time better, you have to learn how you’re wasting it.
Tracking your time probably won’t be fun and it will require serious attention to detail for extended periods of time. That’s something most of us struggle with in this highly distracted society we live in. But you can do it!
There is freedom in time management
Freedom and scheduling do not sound like they mesh well together. How can one be free while adhering to a schedule or even just closely monitoring their time on different tasks? You would be blown away. Seriously. When it comes down to it, no matter how free we want to be, there are just some things we all have to do, whether we like it or not. When we manage our time wisely and we’re efficient in those tasks, we end up with actual free time that we can then do with what we wish.
You might be thinking, isn’t that what I’m doing when I’m watching Netflix or scrolling social media? Doing what I want with my time. Well, maybe, but think about it. If you don’t have a routine or any time management skills, how do you really feel when you’re doing those things? Are you overwhelmed, procrastinating, and trying to escape life, or are you genuinely just enjoying your free time?
Start managing your time wisely today
To be clear, you do not have to track your time for more than a few days, a week max. This isn’t designed to place another restricting burden on your life. It’s designed to open your eyes to what a burden your lack of time management probably is on your life.
Give it a shot, if only for a day, and see if you can spot any patterns of procrastination or chaos-creating habits. To track your time, all you really need is a pen and paper. But to make it easier and more organized for you, I created a time tracking spreadsheet with categories and all.
To get started, download my free time tracking spreadsheet. Follow the instructions below for more info on how to use it. Commit to at least one day of tracking, but if you can do the full week you’ll get the best overall view of your habits.
Instructions: I’m a spreadsheet nerd. I love them. But if you’re not, don’t worry! I’ve made it really easy to use. It’s a google sheet so you can open it for free. You can print it or you can use your computer or phone to fill it in. It’s preset to calculate all your hours if you use it digitally. You can also download the google sheets app for free on your phone for really easy access. Once you click on the link and open the spreadsheet (below), you’ll select File, then Make a Copy. That copy is the spreadsheet that you can edit. You’ll know which one is the copy by the name of the file, it will say “Copy of Where Does All Your Time Go?” and it will save it to your Google Sheets account.