“Tell me how you use your spare time, and how you spend your money, and I will tell you where and what you will be in ten years from now.” Napoleon Hill
Do you ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done? Do you know how much time you spend working everyday? How about how much time you spend on your phone? Do you ever feel like you’re wasting time?
I’ve been guilty of wasting time and still am today, but I’ve grown to better recognize when I’m doing it and to refocus. I’ve also learned that having a one year old limits my “free” time, so I better become more efficient.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here’s how the average American spent their time in 2016.
8.77 hours personal care including sleeping
1.08 eating and drinking
1.07 household activities
.50 purchasing goods and services
8.28 hours working
Here’s an ugly number-the average American spends 2 hours and 51 minutes a day, 86 hours a month, on their phones. Safe to say, not the most productive use of one’s time.
To make matters worse, our minds wander 46.9% of the time. So, going back to the idea that there are never enough hours in the day may or may not be true. Perhaps we’re simply not effectively utilizing those hours.
The concept of Deep work tells us “To produce at your peak level you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction.” I fully embrace this idea and know I’m a terrible multi-tasker. One proven method to practice deep work is the Pomodoro Technique.
The Pomodoro Technique is a method of time management developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It uses a timer to break work down into 25-minute intervals with short breaks in between each interval. The technique also advocates planning your work in advance, tracking each 25 minute segment on a piece of paper and talking a longer break of 30 minutes after the fourth segment. Give it a shot, many people get great results from using it.
In the spirit of, “what get’s measured, get’s done,” there are many ways to track time; I personally use the Hours Pro app.