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  1. #1
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    Default How do you balance your 168 hours?

    Looks like some fixes have been made to the site, so I thought i would start a conversation about something that has been on my mind in the New Year.

    I just finished a book called 168 Hours You have More Time Than You Think, by Laura Vanderkam. I've read some of her other books as well. Her premise is that there really is time to do everything you want if you are more intentional with your time. Some leisure activities create higher rates of satisfaction, planning activities based on your own natural rhythms will be more efficient and productive and that you should apply the concept of core competencies to all areas of life to do more of what you do best or truly needs your attention.

    As part of that she encourages you to track your time for 168 hours. I started tracking my time every 15 minutes on Monday, and it has been eye opening and humbling. I'm looking forward to the end of the week where I tally up how much time I'm spending on various areas of my life (sleep, exercise, work, kid focused time, etc). She has also challenged me to think about what "working" means, she would argue that responding to emails and going to meetings is not working, as it most likely does not "move your business forward." I'm also seeing a pattern in myself of bouncing all over the place and taking way too much time to finish a task because of too many starts and stops instead of focused work that would ultimately free up time, bring higher satisfaction and probably have a better end result.

    There are so many other interesting topic areas, but thought I would see if anyone is around and interested in talking. Has anyone else done a personal inventory of how you are truly spending your time (not how you assume you are spending it)?

  2. #2
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    Default

    Interesting thoughts. I havenít taken an inventory of my time but it would probably turn out differently than I think.

  3. #3
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    Thatís interesting that you mentioned about the work time because that is true. In my line of work, we look at that in a different way with capacity planning and utilization from a process perspective. It is impossible to be 100% utilized, but you can minimize distractions. One of the classes I took was an email based class that showed us how to use email more effectively. One of those items was turning off your email notifications in outlook. It eliminates the distraction and you check your email on set intervals or when you have a break in work.
    If people are always dropping by your desk without a calendar invite, hang a do not disturb sign across your cubicle.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2005
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    Raingirl....Very interesting topic as we head into the new year. I am definitely going to check out this book. Even though I *thinK* I am efficient with my time....the craziness of our weekly schedule and the fact that I have a "project list" a mile long will beg to differ. I I truly feel that I am always running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. It is a very interesting observation about the start and stop thing. I know I am horrible with this. I bounce around like a ping ping ball sometimes, because as something comes up...I am afraid I will forget, so I stop what I am doing to do it...but then have to go back and complete what I was doing. I do this at home and at work.

    I truly feel that I waste time way too much time on things that ultimately are not my top priorities.....


    Now that you have recorded a full 168 hours....how did it break down for you? Did it break down the way you expected or was it way different?

  5. #5
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    I still need to do the math, but I fear that I will be too embarrassed to share. But I'll find time this week to see how things penciled out. I can see that I take far too many social media breaks throughout my day. I watch a lot of TV for someone who declares "I don't really have time to watch TV". I did tackle some long overdue home projects (cleaning kaboom corner of our bedroom, organizing home office and cleaning windows), which I never would have done normally, because I needed something redeeming on my chart.

    If anyone would like to track so we can compare notes and offer encouragement I'll include the link below for the paper tracker I used. The tracking wasn't that bad, but the fact that I had a hard time fitting everything into the small 15 minute squares really highlighted that I have lost my ability to focus. It was a good exercise in realizing that if I focus a little more on self-discipline (slightly less of the time-wasters and more on completing tasks and more restorative/enjoyable downtime) I could probably see some pretty great improvements.

  6. #6
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    And of course I forgot to include the link!

    http://lauravanderkam.com/wp-content...8-Hours-v2.pdf

    How and why to keep a time log:
    http://lauravanderkam.com/2016/05/ho...ep-a-time-log/

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