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Your schedule doesn't lie: Are you spending time on what's truly important?

To make a diary, you can use tried and true paper and pen, a spreadsheet, or a time-tracking app like Toggl, or TimeKeeper... Or, I recommend this Planning & Time Use Worksheet.

In 15 to 30-minute increments, track how you spent your time today. For example:

6:30 Wake up

6:45 Shower, get dressed

7:00 Breakfast

7:30 Leave for work

7:30 – 8:45 Commuting

9:00 At work

9:00 – 10:15 Working

10:15 Coffee break


Analyze your diary Once you've finished your time diary, take a look at it. Add up the time spent on various tasks. For example:

  • 9 hours—at work (total) 4 hours—at work, actually working 2.5 hours—at work, cruising Facebook 30 minutes—at work, hanging out with coworkers talking about last night's reality TV show 2 hours—at work, making doodles in a meeting

  • 2.5 hours—commuting

  • 1.5 hours—TV

  • 1 hour—workout

Etc. Then, ask yourself:

  1. How am I spending my time? Look at the time spent on all tasks.

  2. What are my top priorities in life? What is important to me—what brings me joy? If you aren't sure what your life priorities are, this is a good time to think about them.

  3. How much time am I spending on my top life priorities? Does your schedule reflect your values?

  4. What are my "time-suckers"? Time-suckers are things that take up time, but don't really benefit you. This could be watching TV, cruising the internet, being physically at work but not doing anything productive, etc.

  5. Given this, what could I change about my schedule so that my time reflects my top life priorities? What might you need to change or adjust? How could you do more of what you love in life?

What could you change?

Could you…

Do fewer things, but with more focus? Creating a priority list will help you decide what to do first.

Cut down one "time sucker"? If necessary, use a timer. Decide in advance that you'll spend 10 minutes creeping your old high school friend's Facebook page, or watching videos of cute baby animals, and no more. When that alarm goes off, you're done. Say goodbye to the party photos and sneezing baby pandas. (Try a browser app like StayFocusd if you need extra help.)

Ask for help? (Yeah, I know, it's hard.)

Uni-task instead of multi-task? Studies show that contrary to what you might expect, doing one thing at a time, with your full attention, works much better than trying to juggle a bunch of stuff at once.

Plan and prepare more effectively? For instance, an hour of food prep time on the weekend might be worth five hours of free time during the week.

Let one small responsibility or task go? Is there something you could delegate to someone else?

Find one small way to chase your joy. Do you love running? Paint by numbers? Bird-watching? How could you juggle your schedule to do more of that?

The Moxie Weekly Fix

It's time to reflect. In a notebook or journal, or even on a post-it note, set aside a few minutes this week to answer the following questions.
  1. How much time do you spend on what's truly essential and important to you?

  2. What are your "time wasters" and "time leaks"?

  3. If you had one more hour a week to spend on something you love... what would that awesome thing be?

  4. How could you improve your time use just a little bit to find that one hour?

BONUS: Check out this infographic "7 Steps to Making More Time For Health"

Source: Precision Nutrition ProCoach

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