Posted by Tim Stobbs on October 29, 2008
Do you ever find yourself wishing you had more time to do… whatever? I do at times. So once in a while I’ll run an experiment to find out exactly where is my time going every week. I personally find the only way to effectively know where your time is going is to break up your usual habit so you become aware of all those things you do by habit.
Case in point. I’m currently trying a week with as little reading as possible (so yes I’m missing a week of news stories and great blog posts). Until this week I had no idea of how many times a day I manage to get in ten or twenty minutes of personal reading. I usually manage almost 40 minutes on the bus, 20 minutes at lunch, 15 minutes during coffee breaks and about 45 minutes at home during the evening. So now I know where about 2 hours of my day goes or 10 hours a week.
I know also now know that the excuse ‘I don’t have time for that’ is completely useless. We choose how we spend our days or nights. Time is completely what you make of it and wasting it is actually worse that wasting money in my mind. Money you can make without your active attention (think of a dividend from a stock you own), but time can’t be made up or replaced. Once that hour, day, week, month or year is gone you can’t get it back.
So what are some the famous time wasters? Here’s my list that I’ve personally done:
- TV – You actually don’t want to watch a specific show, but you turn it on to kill time.
- Reading News – Ok the first news story on a topic might be interesting, but do you really need to read three different stories on the same basic thing.
- Checking your portfolio or stock market daily.
- Continue reading a crappy book. Really it is ok to stop reading something after the first 50 pages if it fails to keep your interest.
- Checking your personal email more than once a day or your work more than four times a day.
So be mindful of your time and respect your time and make the most of your life. Don’t dwell in the past or the future for too long, but rather focus your time on the now. Make time for what you value most in life. I personally always make sure I spend at least a little time each day talking to my wife, playing with my kids, writing something and day dreaming.
Live your life like you dream with ever action intended otherwise you will find your days filling up with meaningless tasks like checking your email or checking the TSX for the sixth time that day. Happiness comes from living a great life, which often means knowing where you spend your days. Spend your days making sure your full of meaning and happiness.