My 168 Hours Challenge finished Sunday night. Seven days of tracking my time… honestly! The entire exercise was an eye opener and very enlightening.
Listed below are the lessons I learnt:
- 15 minute time slots actually work very well. (Contrary to what I thought at the outset). With a young child, it seems my work gets done in 5 minute intervals. So, this was perfect. Plus, I actually got a great sense of my day’s structure and major activities. It also gave me insights on how I can plan my day to make best use of my time.
- Mindful multi-tasking works. Food prep clubs with podcasts or speaking with a child-‘ double dip’ as ‘No Regrets Parenting’ book states.
- Clubbing activities in the same room works better than going task by task from my list.
- Regular sleep, healthy food and down time are essential for a productive day.
- Timers are not just for kids. Racing against a timer actually spurs me on and keeps me focussed. It also frees me from distractions because I know I will be done in a finite time and can attend to other tasks/ activities then.
- Having a reading list and playlist of podcasts really helped me. In spare minutes, I knew I had inspiring/ interesting articles and videos to engross myself in. This not only was a wise use of my time but also was energizing and uplifting.
- The biggest win was that I was more mindful of how I used my time. Knowing I would have to log my activities made me treat every minute like the precious commodity it is.
Inspired by the success of last week, I am continuing the challenge this week too. Laura Vanderkam, who issued the challenge and has written wonderful books and articles on time management, has been doing this for over seventeen months. While my goals are not as lofty as hers, I am determined to go on till December to truly discover how I spend my time, especially, in the holidays. Wish me luck!!
Have a refreshing weekend and a productive week ahead!