How I spend my time
There's something that I've been SUPPERRRRR excited to share for the longest time...
A catalogue of how I spend my time
I obviously need to think of a snazzier name for the project (I'm open to suggestions) but the basic gist of it is that I catalogue every single minute of my time into different categories such as Socialising, Mr. Human, Work, University, etc. This is my Google Spreadsheet
So as of today (1st Dec 2015), I've been doing this for 73 days. Here's the pie chart of my life haha.
Note that it excludes sleep, which delightfully takes up a third of my total hours, averaging 7.9 hours / day.
As you may already know, I really love data. So as I've gone along, I've started to think of other ways to interpret and use the data. It's actually been really exciting thinking of new ways to analyse it and researching how to display the data in the way I envision. :)
For example, here is the breakdown, month-by-month. This is so that I can understand the trends in where my time goes. For example, I can see that over the past 3 months, "Work" has significantly increased as I started my new job. I can see that other categories took a hit as a result, with time spent on Mr. Human, Body care, Reading, Learning and Website decreasing.
I found it really interesting as well because I can also become more conscious of what I want to spend more time on, and then see if it eventuates. For example, if I decide I want to spend more time on Body Care, I can see if it actually increases over the next months.
Another very recent thing I've added in is a 'Last 7 Days' breakdown. This is because the first pie chart shoes the summation of ALL my time, but sometimes it's useful to just see the last week. Now when people ask me, "What have you been up to this week?", I can be like "Well, actually...." and whip out this bad-ass pie chart hahaha.
It was also really fun to figure out how to track the Last 7 Days on a rolling basis.
In the future, I actually hope to create a personal app for this, just because making an app has been something I've wanted to learn for a long while and also because I think this will be straightforward enough to do (aka. it won't require crazy coding techniques and stuff, its just linear calculations and formulas).
And here is a lovely FAQ for anyone who is more curious about it. :)
- Where did the idea come from?
The idea first stemmed from when I was studying for an exam at home and also doing the Opal hack. What this basically meant was that every hour, I had to go catch a bus near my house for one stop, in order to record 1 trip on my Opal transport card. I had to do this 8 times in one day. In my mind, the plan sounded GREAT. I'd get an hour of study done in between each trip and then also get to stretch my legs and go for a walk each time.
The result was far, FAR from that. As you can probably imagine haha. The first two hours I did next-to no work. So I started quickly jotting down what I did each hour following to reflect on it. That's when the idea first started but after that day I just forgot about it for a while.
- Do you do it to be more productive?
No. So after the above incident, the idea was jostling somewhere around in the back of my mind. The week following the above, I realised I was actually quite a productive person already. I never really wasted time on Youtube or Facebook. I used to Tumblr a lot when I was younger but don't really. When I do spend time on the internet, I'm generally reading articles or things I find really interesting or talking to people. So in the end, I was just curious to see how my time broke down.
- Why do you do it?
Because it's pretty damn interesting haha. And it makes me more conscious of my time.
For example, it helps me see what is 'underrepresented'. An example is my "Website" - all the time I am looking at how little of my time it gets, despite being so important to me. So I can make a conscious choice that I want to spend more time on it, and see in the trends if it actually eventuates. :)
- How do you do it?
I use a Google spreadsheet I created so that I can log it both on my phone AND on desktop throughout the day.
- It's all well and good to log time, but how much time do you spend then cataloguing your time?
Time spent logging time is put into "Home/daily stuff" and usually takes up about 15-20 minutes a day.
- How do you make sure that you remember and are always up to date?
Because, basically, if I fall behind at all then all the data is ruined. The longest I have ever gone unlogged is probably 1 day, when I went to a full day festival and slept over with friends.
On the average day, I time log throughout the day, usually every few hours or after an event. For example, if I'd just finished hanging out with some friends and return home, I'll do it right after that. Sometimes if I'm sitting at home and meant to be concentrating on a big task, I'll time log like every 15 minutes haha.
If you got any more questions, just shoot 'em my way. I'm really really excited to share this, I basically tell every second person I meet about it if I get a chance. Showing the pie chart is basically one of my proudest moments in life hahaha.
Anyways it's been a lot of fun and glad to have finally shared. If you have any comments or suggestions or ways to improve, feel free to share it with me. Otherwise, enjoy! :)