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Where is your time

Introduction

Having a chance to review where your time is going can be a great opportunity to reassess where you want to be using your time and how you might make some room for new pursuits or to introduce some relaxation activities. The questions posed below, will help you to start to consider where you are and as a result if you want to make changes or get greater control over where your time is being spent. 

You might want to answer the questions quickly as you read them. Once you have answered the questions, there is a further activity that will help you get even closer to exactly where you are spreading your time.

  • Do you know where you are spending your time? 

  • Would it be helpful to understand more closely where you are spending your time?

  • Is your time spread evenly across the things that you want and need to do?

  • Do you use all of your time productively?

  • Do you procrastinate?

  • Are there certain areas of your life that you struggle to find the time for?

  • Are you constantly rushing from one task to the other?

  • Do you feel a sense of achievement regularly?

  • Are you clear what areas would benefit from you improving your time management?

  • Are you good at planning the time that you need for the different tasks and activities you have to do each day?

  • Are you always on time for everything?

  • Do you write a to do list and stick to it?

  • Can you stay focused on one task at a time?

  • Do you feel obliged to help others when they ask at the detriment of what you need to do?

  • Do you have several jobs ongoing at the some time?

  • Do you take your work home with you - literally or in your mind?

  • Do you have a natural rhythm to your working day/week?

  • Do you have to respond to messages and calls immediately?

  • Have others commented on your poor time keeping/bad time management?

  • Do you feel like you never get anything finished?

  • Do tasks seem to roll into each other?

  • Do you have boundaries that you impose on yourself, to keep time separate for different areas of your life?

  • Do you get distracted easily?

  • Are you spending time doing the things that you want to do that you value?

Now that you have given some general thought to where your time is being used, maybe it would be useful to have a little closer look at the way you spread your time across activities, to make sure you are getting the best balance possible. Carrying out a review over the next week using the form in step1below, will help you to become more aware of how you are spreading your time, which will give you the chance to look at how you might make some changes to be able to include some new activities or find more time for relaxation in your schedule. Maybe you really want to utilise some of the guided meditations in this toolkit more often but just don't seem to have the time. By understanding more about what you are currently doing with your time, will give you the chance to make changes, putting the choice fully into your hands, therefore allowing you to be more in control of what you are engaging with and finding the quality of life you want.

Step 1 - Access the time review form and print out seven copies so you have a form for each day of the next week.

 

Step 2 - Consider the key tasks that you carry out each day. You can add as many tasks along the top as you need, make sure you consider the different kinds of work tasks such as attending meetings, emails, telephone calls, chatting with colleagues etc. Add in all the different activities associated with your home life, such as cooking, eating, spending time with family, cleaning etc. Also add in social time activities e.g. TV time, reading, social media, journaling etc. and other things like travel time, schools runs, telephone calls etc. The more tasks you can add before you start the study, the easier it is when you are carrying it out. However you can add to the tasks if you notice you are doing more than you initially started with.

Step 3 - Start monitoring your time! Simply keep the form with you throughout the day and simply tick the box that matches the time and activity at 15 minute intervals. Do this everyday for a week. Make sure that the week you choose to do this, is a typical week. At the end of each day, you can total up the time spent on each task, if this would be useful to you (some people can just see from where all the ticks are what areas they may choose to look at further).

Step 4 -When you have finished your week, its time to review your findings. You can either total up the time spent on each task if this would be useful to you or you might be able to see from where all the ticks are what areas you may choose to look at further. Are there any areas that you are surprised at? Are you happy with how your time has been spread across the activities? Are there any areas that you immediately want to change? Are there any tasks that require more or less time spent on them? Are there any new tasks that you want to add to your day/week?

 

Step 5 - If from your findings you want to make some changes, a good place to start is by planning out how you want your time to be spent, you can use one of the time review forms to help with this.

 

Once you are clear that you want to make changes and you have the evidence of where you might be able to change some of your current habits, to help release time for you to add the things you want to be spending your time on, you have already taken a big step closer to achieving them. You would now benefit from moving onto 'grow me module - improve time management' as this will give you tips to help get even more order and control over your days and weeks. Also access the 'guided meditation - reaching your goal' as this has messages to help create more time, make clearer decisions and achieve your desired outcome. When you move to 'grow me module - goal setting' the information you have gathered in this review, might be really helpful for you.

Your time is in your hands, do with it what you want to for your health, well-being and greatest self.