How I figured out where all my time goes
Time is such a valuable asset, and it never seems like there is enough of it. I admit to binge watching Netflix from time-to-time. In fact, Dead to Me was my binge of choice just two weekends ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! While I was binge watching, I was doing laundry and some other household chores, so the series kept me entertained while my chores helped me feel productive.
But there have been other times when I have just binged on Netflix, YouTube videos, news sites without doing anything else and ended up feeling sluggish and guilty while continually replaying all that I need to do in my head. I have found that thinking about taking action takes much more mental energy and time than actually doing the action.
I contemplate the stories that I have told myself in the past, especially pertaining to my personal life: I don't have time, I'm too busy, I've got too much going on, I'll get to that later... You get the picture.
So, this year I revisited the saying: "You can't change what you don't acknowledge" and started tracking my free time to see where it goes. Since the start of the year, I have stopped spending so much time on social media and web browsing, especially in the morning when I first wake up. I have built in some structure by creating a morning routine for exercising, meditating, reading, journaling, and drinking coffee
Of course, there are many apps for tracking your time (or paper works, too). I have used the app, aTimeLogger, and it makes me get honest with myself about where all of my free time actually goes.
Here is a recent example of how I spent my birthday which included going out to dinner (eat), looking at my college-aged sons new apartment (transport), and watching America's Got Talent on my weekly "date" night with my mother-in-law (entertainment). My internet usage was a little on the high side because I wanted to respond to all of the lovely birthday messages and wishes, and I was happy with that choice.
By getting intentional and structured with my time, I feel like I have more of it and feel less stressed about all of the things I need to do. I actually enjoy my free time. Have you ever tried tracking your time? What insights did you gather?