31 DAY RESET: Time Audits & Redesigning Your Day

Are you still keeping up with the 31 Days To Reset Your Life Challenge? I won't lie - in the last week or so, I fell off. Hard. Between my birthday, the surgery, family being in town, and work - I found myself promising to catch up on exercises, but then not making the time to do so. I'm happy to report that as of today, I'm all caught up! Only a few more days to go, so hopefully you're on track or getting there if you're taking part as well. Two recent exercises proved to be very telling for me. Day 13 was "Do A Time Audit", and Day 14 was "Redesign Your Day".

The Time Audit required me to look at my day in hourly segments, and report what I do with my time on an average day. I chose a regular work day, so my audit looked like this:

Yes, I hit snooze (I didn't specify how many times though :S). Yes, I find myself rushing in the morning to get myself ready and out the door. Yes, I find my mind wanders very often during the day (hence the 'daydream break') - I think it's important to give your mind a break from tedious, repetitive, or difficult tasks, but sometimes I find my mind wandering when I haven't allowed it to. I do a lot of stuff while sitting on the couch in front of the TV - eat, blog, etc. I go to bed late on a frequent basis. Little did I know it, but in reviewing my time audit, I had already started redesigning my day.

The 'Redesign Your Day' exercise was easy and difficult at the same time. I knew what changes I needed to make, but were they practical? Could I actually do it? When I looked at my time audit and thought about how I usually spent my days, I came up with the ideal list of how I would redesign them:

  • wake up earlier, in order to have a good breakfast and not be rushed before work
  • check and clear personal emails first thing in the morning, and don't check again until lunch time
  • go back to utilizing the Pomodoro technique during the work day to stay focused while allowing myself mental breaks
  • eat dinner at the dinner table, not in front of the TV
  • stop trying to work in front of the TV - take the laptop to another room
  • make time to meditate/pray before bed, and go to bed by 11pm
  • don't procrastinate!

I find that I work hard, but I can work smarter than I am now. If I work smarter, I'll be more efficient and have more time for myself. More time for myself means I'll be able to get to bed at a decent time, and will be able to wake up without difficulty. I'll need the extra time to focus on my ongoing projects, and my plans to get back into working out regularly. Creating new habits takes time, but I see the positive results that will come out of these changes, so I'm motivated! Let me get back to being smart and efficient :)

Are you still in the Challenge? How are you doing so far? Whether you're partaking or not, have you ever done a Time Audit of your day? Try it out - the results may surprise you! Is there anything you could do to redesign your day to make it better for you?

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