A few days ago I decided to do a little experiment
(It was more of an exercise, but you know.. science!)
How much time do I waste in a day?
The Background Research:
Basic stuff here:
We all have different resources, cultures, issues and advantages. But there is one thing we all have in common: one thousand four hundred and forty minutes in a day. No one gets to cheat (Slow motion videos don’t count).
The brain is wired to go on auto mode, that’s how habits work, they save us a lot of energy. So we tend to fill time with whatever is most accessible at that moment.
2. Scheduled a list of things I was going to accomplish the next day. Calculated the time it would take me for a total of 10 hours of just work.
So if I started at 10:00am:
10 hrs work + 1hr lunch + 1.5 (3 x 30min) breaks = Watching Colbert at 11:35pm sharp.
Data and Conclusion.
February 11: Start working at 10-ish.. play some Nate Ruess.. back to work.. wondering if I should add another jump around pic to my instagram.. back to work.. change playlist.. lunch.. back to work.. wait, Madrid plays Saturday, research time!.. back to work.. music off.. break.. back to work.. oh you silly Kanye and your tweets.. back to work.. break.. back to work.. does uploading wait time count as working?.. Second coffee yay or nay.. break.. back to work.. 145 whatsapp messages? I must check… back to work… Yay! Colbert time!
1. The hours on the screenshot don’t add up because I did overtime on some projects but still didn’t hit my time goals on other projects.
2. It is hard to work on exact numbers. Servers can be a bit temperamental. Also hard to cut off working when you’ve automated something and want to see it through.
3. Would love to see how many times I hit the pause/play button.
4. Against my own advice. Went for the 2 coffees.
In total I wasted 2 hours and 9 minutes
The best takeaway from this exercise is not finding out how much time I wasted, is finding out why and how I’m wasting it. It is more about making a plan that will make you accountable.
In this case I was already conditioned to work a bit harder because I knew I would write about it, but I tend to spend hours on Netflix, on youtube, on.. whatever is showing on TV. On “research”, on “multitasking”, on “unwinding”, on “catching up”. Just filling time with what many times is just noise.
And filling vs planning might just be the main difference between being good, or being great.