The idea is simple. 168 hours in a week = 168 dollars that you “spend” into your tracking system.
The first step is to find out where they go. I’ll show you two ways that you can physically log the hours of your day, and get good data out of the process in order to get a better perception of what you’re doing and what you could be doing.
Check out my current setup. It gives me 12 sections to track hours into and the ability to add/subtract if I feel like the data I’m recording is subpar. The goal is not to be super rigid with yourself or obsessive about how you track. Just do your best to put money into the right place after you’ve spent those hours, and if you have to do it way after the fact, go back and estimate as best you can. The simple act of getting used to tracking the hours is likely to make you more mindful of where your time is going.
Looking to get started with a simpler layout? Use a poker set to build your first setup. This allows 8 compartments to assign and track hours. I was particularly focused on where I was wasting time, so you can see I made sure to track my phone use and other distractions. I used this setup for 24 consecutive weeks until NYE 2018 I went for an upgrade.
Dolla Dolla Bill Mode:
Realizing that not everyone that reads this will be Canadian, you can use a system of envelopes to put dollar bills into that will work just as well with any dollar currency. But probably won’t look as cool.
Just as important if you want to notice trends in how you spend your time is having a place to log your hours after every week. I fill mine in on Google Docs, Monday mornings over a cup of coffee. Using red or green highlighting to notice any extreme outliers (good or bad) gives me a good idea of where to put more of my focus in the upcoming week. I highly recommend not skipping this step, as it’s very easy for one week to blend into the next and your perception of how things are going to fade to memory unless you have somewhere simple to go back and look it up.
Data –> Habits –> Improvement. Try it out. If it doesn’t work for you, at least you’ll have $168 bucks around to spend on something that’ll make you feel better about all that time your letting slip away.
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