Day 1: the control, how would I use my time if I was given time freely to do anything…

So, have you wondered how you’d spend your day if you were given absolutely nothing to do? Or, in other words, if everything was up to you? Well here’s this little experiment I’ve come up with myself. Yesterday, I devised a very strict time management plan and today I put it to the test…with well, one glitch.

You see, how I even came up with the plan in the first place was due to a mixture of imported cider, radler and boredom. Oh yeah, apparently getting tipsy for me means opening up a document on my Mac and putting ideas down, making a spreadsheet of it, then graphing it out…(I’m so fun, I know.)

Anywho, so yesterday I posted something crazy like devoting 8% of my day to reading for leisure, today however, all I have done is 10 pages or so of a book that’s taking me forever to finish. Where did all the other time go?

Unlike all other days where I’d have no idea. Today, I started tracking what I do.

Note that the wake up time is drastically different from the projected 07:00, since I went to bed at 00:00 after a few drinks…I woke up before 11:00 but didn’t get out of bed until 11:06…(-4 hours lost right there, 4 hours I could be finishing that book, or practicing German. Opps.) I went for a quick bite of breakfast downstairs, and then when I came back to an assortment of messages via messenger on my phone so…I decided to log into Facebook, dun dun dun. The greatest time waster there is, especially when all your friends decided to be uber social just then.

Eventually, I realized the time at 14:00… (-7 hours of time lost) so I decided then I need to stop and packed everything to go to the nearest bus stop with the goal of heading to a coffee shop to get some work done (because home with internet and no one watching is apparently too distracting, I needed stranger around me to judge me if I was there and on Facebook all the time) soooo began this trek away from home by walking which took around 15 minutes.

But when I eventually got to the coffee shop of choice, I realized everyone else had the same idea. The place was jam packed to the point I wondered if it was feasible to move to Greenland…yes. So after a quick stroll around the place, I gave up on the idea of waiting around for a seat and decided to beat it – I got home at 16:16 (-9:16 hours of time wasted) and by 16:28 Facebook sucked me in again…until by 16:30 I realized what I was doing (-9:30 hours of time lost) and decided to be a responsible human being and read for 1 hour and 30 minutes…until I got hungry and made some dinner … but then by 18:15 I was distracted once again and ended up with 3 movies on queue for tonight.

So, there I have it. Why am I always out of time and non-productive?

Here’s what I summarized: failure to prioritize, too high of expectations, inability to focus on important things at hand and failure to plan… or at least that’s what I got from day experiment, because, 1: I didn’t wake up on time, early enough. 2: I changed my mind quite often throughout the day as to what I was going to do. 3. The myriad of choices around made everything else highly tempting. 4. There wasn’t one time I was only doing 1 thing, it is as if I was used to a world of constant stimulation, the baseline for boredom has been heightened…

So what can be improved? Pre-plan everything and stick to it – and that’s exactly what I’m going to do for tomorrow.

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3 thoughts on “Day 1: the control, how would I use my time if I was given time freely to do anything…

  1. I have been thinking about this a lot too. I get home from work in the afternoon and it seems seconds later it’s time for bed. I’ve been trying to get a 50/50 ratio on engaged activities like exercise, socializing, reading, etc and passive activities like watching tv, Facebook, etc. it’s a struggle for sure, best of luck!

    1. It’s difficult to do as we’re more likely to fall into the pattern that we’re used to because it’s ‘easy’ and you could even call it ‘habit’. What we don’t consciously realize is that we’re making ourselves lose so much time by not using even leisure time meaningfully. As I’ve said to a friend yesterday, “you know how messaging is now the norm, but if you thought about messaging and phone calls in the same context…would you still reply to that text, or would you leave it for another time? We’re so hooked on instant connectivity and instant gratification, it’s like a drug.” And thank you for your support, I wish the best of luck to you too!

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