If you take the time to plot out your actual time spent versus where you would like to spend your time it can be very eye opening, here is my experience
I recently wrote down the ideal distribution of my time and contrasted it against how I actually spend my time, and it really put things in perspective for me. I’ll share my break-down and also the steps I am taking to better achieve the ideal time spend.
Ideal Time Spend
Current Time Spent
As you can see, currently I am spending a large majority of my time on current projects/work which is likely similar to most people. The things that I really want more of my time spent on are family, future growth projects, and personal time with exercising and/or relaxation. The first step toward improving one of your most important resources in life in time is to put things into perspective. This easy exercise really makes a huge impact and is the beginning to great progress.
The next step now that you have perspective is to work daily on tracking your time and moving the needle from one time suck to the next. One of the things I do to ensure I make progress is to journal about it daily to keep it top-of-mind.
In my situation where work is the largest piece of the pie next to sleep (which should remain a third or so of your time) you have to break that down into what really goes on during a work day. There are endless amounts of data online to support the fact that remedial “work” for most people can not be carried out for 8-10 hours a day productively. This has to be broken down into segments of what is really feasible and that is what should help me progress current work projects into the more creative future work projects. So much of a day can be filled up with busy work that really does not have a large impact on the big picture. In most studies, 4-5 hours of busy work is about the threshold for most people to be truly productive. The rest of the time can be done doing creative things that can help grow or progress a business. That breaks an 8 hour work day in half and is why a lot of the larger tech and creative companies are doing exactly that, allowing their employees to work on creative projects for 2-3 hours per day. This, in my case, is ideal for funneling work over from current work projects into future things, and leaving an hour or 2 per day for family time, exercise, traveling, or relaxation.
Because this exercise was so helpful and eye opening for me, I really wanted to share with everyone. Please share your comments below because this is an ever evolving thing and I appreciate everyone’s feedback!