Are You As Busy As You Think?
Studies show that individuals who lose weight and keep it off have a few key things in common – first and foremost, they track their food. Having lost a significant amount of weight myself, I can attest to the fact that this is crucial to avoid regaining weight. Websites like Bodybugg.com, SparkPeople.com, and Livestrong.com have at one time or another been my partner in calorie tracking. I don’t always have a goal, but I’m always certain to track, just to keep track of my intake.
The same concept applies to financial fitness. Individuals who use a check register with their checking accounts, or online tools like Mint.com, tracking their daily expenditures, are more likely to stick to a budget than those who spend freely and pay it all off at the end of the month. It’s clear to see which individual will be more likely to rack up credit card debt, right?
Putting two and two together, successfully maintained weight loss requires tracking, financial fitness requires tracking. Could it be that time management might also be an area of our life that simply needs some tracking? Laura Vanderkam at the Wall Street Journal begs just this question in her article, “Are You As Busy As You Think?” Here, Laura asks us to consider all the times we’ve said, “I’m just far too busy to (fill in the blank here.” How many times do we meet our friends at happy hour and lament about working long hours, late nights, weekends, and having no time for ourselves. But perhaps we’re not tracking the loss of our time accurately.
Laura Vanderkam suggests keeping a time log for at least one week – keep a notepad or paper with you at all times and write down the literal version of how long it takes you to do something – folding laundry, writing an article, sitting in a meeting, driving to and from work, and the list goes on. I recommend doing this without judgment. Don’t finesse or change your routine in order to complete the exercise. Just spent a week being honest about how you spend your time. At the end of the week, it’s likely you’ll see pieces of time you might be able to eliminate.
Read more tips on this time tracking experiment from Laura Vanderkam by clicking here. You might just find you have more time for yourself after all.