Doing Time

Posted on June 9, 2012

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As Laura Vanderkam advises in my new favorite book 168 Hours, keeping track of how and where you spend your time really sheds some light on how you’re spending-or wasting-your life. I love how Vanderkam reminds her readers that what they do each day adds up to what they do with their lives.

Big accomplishments don’t just happen to people. Big accomplishments take work, work done on a daily basis.  The next great American novel won’t just write itself; you have to make time to work on it everyday. You won’t lose 50 lbs magically; you’ve got to make time to workout. You won’t complete your first marathon, land a big promotion, finish that awesome project or become a concert pianist unless you devote some of your time to doing so.

The things we spend on time one each day really do add up. If you wanna make your dreams come true, you’re going to have to make a personal commitment to spend time working towards them each day. 

Of course, this makes sense, right? It makes sense that if you want something to happen, working towards it each day would help bring it into fruition. But have you looked, I mean really looked at how you’re spending your time?

The average American spends 2 hours each day on social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook) and over 4 hours per day watching television. That’s 6 hours. 6 hours! That is 25% of your day. And, when you start adding this up, that’s 25% of your life.

Who wants to go to their grave saying, “Boy, I’m so glad I spent 25% of my life tweeting and watching TV.” Exactly. No one. No one wants to say that.

The thing is, if you really want your life to mean something, if you want to accomplish big, amazing things, if you want your dreams to become a reality, you have to learn to manage your time better. And before you can manage your time better, you first have to figure out how and where you are currently wasting your time (And trust me. You are wasting it in more ways than you think).

That’s why the time tracking tools I provided for you in the last post are so important. Commit to this for one week. Commit to tracking how you spend each 1/2 hour so that you can take a hard, long and honest look at what you’re doing with your life.

Things won’t change by themselves.  So do the activity already. The quality of your life is very much depending on it.

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Posted in: Time Management