Each and every week we start out with 168 hours to allocate to what is important for us. To some degree, there are a certain number of those hours that are already allocated whether we like it not. We have to sleep, need to eat and a range of other little things that must be taken into account. The remainder is available to allocate to those things that are important. For some, a higher proportion is allocated to work ensuring they earn enough money to live. Others will allocate more time to leisure, and less to work earning just enough to survive.
We will get to my allocation in a moment, but what has brought this to mind for me is a recent inability to meet deadlines. Most are self-imposed, such as publishing daily posts here, daily posts on Instagram and other things. But even with very few other hard and fast things that I have to do, I still find it hard to allocate the time to achieve what I want. I could easily blame a lack of time but maybe it is a little more about how I allocate my time.
Where I Allocate Time
There are a couple of ways that I can measure my time especially when it comes to my electronic devices, sleeping and fitness. But that still leaves a large chunk of time that I cannot specifically pin down what I do. If I take a close look out of the 168 hours in a week I can account for around 128 hours. Which leaves me with 40 hours I cannot specifically account for, even though I know many small things happen during this time.
Computer – 21 Hours 50 Minutes
When I am using my computer the time is logged by a program called RescueTime. Basically, it logs everything you do on the computer and gives you a breakdown of where you spend your time. It can be specific down to each individual website you visit, but this can be a little too nit-picky. I tend to look at the big chunks and see where my time is going.
RescueTime gives you a Productivity Score which for the past week has been 65 for me. The number is out of 100 and scores your productive time against your distracting time. So in this time, I spent around 7-8 hours working on this blog and writing. I also spent 2 hours and 30 minutes on the Youtube website. While this blog might be productive, spending time on Youtube is rather distracting. Overall based on my settings, there is around 12 hours 20 minutes productive time and 9 hours 30 minutes distracting.
Tablet – 17 Hours
Although I would like something like RescueTime on my tablet and phone it is not available. However, the way I have captured the time and apps that I use is with the battery time monitor in settings. Although I am only making the assumption that this is reasonably accurate.
When I look at this for the tablet of the 17 hours I see that 14 hours and 30 minutes was used for gaming. Nearly 1 hour was used for web and email and the other 1 hour 30 minutes various other little things. While I do not question these as minimums I do wonder if it could be under-reported. Because I do know that I spent around 15 minutes reading a book using Amazon Kindle, which is not listed here.
Phone – 6 Hours 30 Minutes
The breakdown of the apps used on the phone is a little more detailed. There are numerous apps that I might have used for a few minutes for a specific purpose. The biggest individual use was on Instagram for around 2 hours and 30 minutes and 20 minutes with Facebook. I find it hard to say if this is productive or distracting specifically though since Instagram is part of my blog strategy.
Fitness – 25 Hours 13 Minutes
When it comes to fitness I do allocate a significant portion of the day to this. A little over three hours per day in fact, of which some is an estimated figured. There are three things that I do for fitness walking, bicycle and vibration.
I can account for the time on the Bicycle (6 hours and 33 minutes) and the Vibration (1 hour 10 minutes). When it comes to the walking I can only take an estimate which I have allowed two and a half hours per day. While I might do one specific block of walking, the rest is often broken up into small chunks throughout the day. I might like to be precise in the time, but it would take to much time to calculate specifically.
Sleeping – 57 Hours 8 Minutes
One thing that I do not avoid is getting my sleep. I generally aim to be in bed each night between 9-9.30 pm. With a wake-up time around 5.30 am. Throughout the past week, this has given me an average slightly over eight hours per night. I am not certain that the sleep I get is as effective as it could be, but it is one thing that I won’t sacrifice.
I try to maintain a reasonably similar time that I go to bed each night. It is only on occasion that I might wake up a little earlier than I will get out of bed. I would not expect that the amount of time allocated to sleep would dip much below 49 hours any week. But that would be an abnormally because I rarely get less than seven hours of sleep.
Other Unallocated Time – 40 Hours
In some ways this time is not entirely unallocated, there is a good portion that will be attributed to specific essential tasks. These would be things like preparing and eating meals, showering, cleaning teeth, dressing, changing tasks and the like. However, there is going to be a chunk of this time that is what I will call wasted.
I do feel that there is some time in here that might be allocatable. Things like driving between destinations, shopping, phone calls and such. But many of these don’t take up all that much time especially at the moment when I do not drive much.
The number of hours here could be higher than what is recorded here as well. As I think there is some overlap between usage of devices and other tasks. Such as time on the phone overlapping with when I might be walking. Or the use of one device at the same time as another device. But this is no big issue, maybe making a 1-2 hour difference.
I Don’t Have Time
The more that I find myself missing deadlines the more I catch myself about to blame a lack of time. When the thought of “I don’t have time” surfaces I do try and catch myself. The true reality is that I have more than enough time it just comes down to how I allocate that time and could I allocate it better and more efficiently.
If I am honest I could probably allocate at least another 10-15 hours from the unallocated time to my business. Likewise, I could better allocate anything up to 9 hours and 30 minutes of the time I spend on the computer. Also, I could better allocate the 14 hours and 30 minutes that I spent gaming on my tablet.
Essentially I need to be looking at how I can go from working 7-8 hours to 30-35 hours. That is working on this blog, and it will be all about choices. Making choices between where I allocate my time and what is most important to me. For example is a game with no real world value, a good use of my time? Probably not. Is sitting down and writing a post for this blog a good use of my time? Definitely.
End of the day it is not a case that I don’t have time, but I don’t make the best choices with my time. I am looking at how I can improve this and I guess time will tell how I go with that. I am going to have to make some changes very soon. As I approach a launch date for another little project which I will be sharing soon.