Last week I posted about trying to find some balance. This is an issue that comes up for me every few months or so. I start feeling a little lopsided as one area of life takes over. In an effort to address this, I started tracking how I spend my time. Here's a few things I discovered:
Of course, there's an app for that. I downloaded three of them. Some you use by pressing start when you begin a task (something I often forgot to do) and others you type in the task and the times (which took me too long). I love apps but in this case it was much easier for me to write it down in my notebook.
When you know you are recording your day's activities, you begin to change. The two days that I tracked were remarkably different from the previous few weeks. Just the act of recording everything helped me to balance my days by making me more aware.
My husband and I had an interesting conversation about productivity. Is it better to write 500 words or write for 1 hour? Which takes less time? Which gives you better quality? I found that for me giving myself a time limit for my tasks helps. It forces me to focus and I think the quality stays about the same. I've always been a list maker but now I'm adding times to the tasks on my list.
I will never find balance and I think I'm ok with that. It's more about getting back on track. Before, I'd probably create some ideal (ridiculous) schedule and then get frustrated that couldn't stick with it. I think the tracking was a good way to shape my days back into something realistic but focused on my goals.
What do you think? Do you go through this sense of unbalance every so often? Do you have tricks to help you get back on track? Have you ever tracked an entire day, minute by minute? I'd love to hear about what works for you.