Counting Your Minutes…
I’m obsessed with time management, productivity and being efficient. We all want to spend our time more meaningfully, but distraction and wasted time (er, online usually) are the scourge of our modern way of life.
So my radar is high for articles like the NY Times story by Laura Vanderkam on her attempt to see where her time was going by meticulously tracking her days in half hour increments for a entire year. I am all up in this idea for work after reading Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport.
Deep Work is an incredibly enlightening book . I had so many revelations reading it and I’m incorporating strategies from it that are transformative. One is starting my work day by planning it out completely in half hour increments.
The idea is to not waste the mental energy of constantly pondering what to do next. Like multi-tasking, it is a major time suck. When you are switching gears and constantly re-litigating your plan for the day, you don’t get anywhere. Everything takes longer.
So I am intrigued by the idea of tracking all my time to find that gray space where I know I am being useless. I totally buy into Vanferkam’s idea that while we all feel unendingly busy, it is, to an extent, an illusion that we have power over.
I read about this idea in Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte (you see where my head is). Schulte talks to a time management expert named John Robinson, who created his own time diary. He too over estimated how much time he spent working.
Bottom line, this gives me hope, in all my frazzled ludicrousness, because it may be the problem isn’t that I don’t have enough time, but that I am just not organizing and using my time correctly. I live in a such inefficient state of mental fragmentation — I am a human fractal. And that’s making it all look worse than it really is. I can’t add hours to the day, but maybe I don’t have to.
You see where this is going… operation create my own personal time diary. I’ll give it two weeks.