Time Audit

It can be eye opening to measure things for real whether it is calories or carbohydrates, or reps and weight, or cash flow and net worth.  Perception is a tricky thing and the spread between reality and perception can be wide.

With that in mind last week I did an audit of every hour of the day.  It was more or less a typical week so I think the numbers should hold up as being average.  This audit provided some interesting numbers that I likely would not have been able to guess off the top of my head.

The biggest single use of time fell into the category of sleep. 32% of my week was spent unconscious.

The next biggest item was Work. which ate 23% of my time.

Those two big categories were to be expected.  Although seeing sleep take up a third of my life is kind of shocking – I can’t remember very much of it.

Next on the list was family time. This mostly consisted of watching Ada and playing. That was 11.5% of my time at nearly 20 hours over the course of the week.  It’s amazing how fast this time goes by.  When tracking my hours, more than a couple times I’d find myself asking “What did I just do for the past 4 hours?”  In comparison to work hours it doesn’t feel like I did 2 hours at the office for every one hour with Ada.

TV time took just 2% of my time last week. That consisted of one movie and one episode of Game of Thrones.

Time spent on the computer was 5.5% or 9.5 hours.  I’m sure that Heather thinks I spend a lot more than that on the computers.  I need to 4X my computer time if I intend on making progress with my Apps.

One of the biggest shocks to me was how much time was spent either eating or prepping food.  Especially given that I have a minimal breakfast and often skip lunch. 10% of my time was dedicated to food – 16.5 hours.  That’s an average of over 2 hours per day!

5 hours was spent commuting (bicycle) which was also the only exercise time I had for the week.

6 hours each of Reading time, shopping, and housework rounded out the audit.

With a goal of finding more time to work on my Apps there are a couple of places where time could be better allocated.  Previous to doing this I would have thought that cutting into sleep was the only way to carve out more time for myself.  To get another 15-20 hours per week I could probably make due with cutting from some other categories.  If I could avoid shopping excursions that would free up 5 hours per week. Faster food options might save even more time and trimming my reading list might be enough to create some forward momentum on my projects.

With that in mind next thing to do is to develop and execute a strategy to free up some time.