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What I Learned From One Day of Tracking My Time

stop watchPhoto Credit: Ryan Stone

Last week I proposed a 3-week plan to help with the information overload I was feeling. I proposed this via a blog post because I realized I’m probably not the only one that felt this way. 

The plan goes something like this:

  • Week 1: Don’t change any habits, just track your time and activities
  • Week 2: Purge all unnecessary information for 5 days. 
  • Week 3: Evaluate and create an information ingestion strategy

Yesterday (July 22, 2019) was Day 1 of tracking my time and here’s what I learned:

  • It’s more difficult to get distracted by the things you normally do when you’re deliberate about what you’re going to do- because you have to consciously track it.
  • Myth: Tracking my time would be difficult. In fact, it wasn’t very difficult at all. Sure, there were some times when I forgot to start my timer, but I never finished something before I realized and just made an educated guess as to what time I started. The same was true with forgetting to stop my timer. Luckily, we leave such a trail of digital timestamps in our lives I was able to go back and find out what time I started what I was currently working on to determine when my last thing ended.
  • It’s crazy how our lives are captured so frequently by digital timestamps
  • My day is more complex than I originally thought and needed to create new categories

I was very concerned about being able to be consistent with tracking my time, but I’m using Toggl and it’s been very easy with their iPhone app. I’ll admit, that I gave it a test run Friday afternoon to get familiar with it and get everything set up. That way I wasn’t trying to learn something new when I was getting started with the real tracking. That helped a lot.

Next week will be the true test. I wasn’t originally planning on tracking my time during the detox but I think it makes sense so I have data to compare to the baseline of information I’m building this week. 

How did Day 1 go for you? I’d love to hear about your experience.