Time is slipping away - if it isn't in the diary, it won't happen!

Claire Vane
June 25, 2024

I was reading an interesting article about monitoring time. This is an exercise I sometimes do with coachees depending on what they are trying to achieve. Often, in the workplace, it is very useful to assess what payback there is for time invested in various tasks. Extrapolating from this and bearing in mind what I have learned from ‘Four Thousand Weeks’ by Oliver Burkeman, it’s very useful to track your time, particularly if your mood is low, on what payback you are receiving in happiness and productivity terms for the time you invest.

What is important in our lives varies from person to person and hopefully will line up with our own particular values. One might categorise life in a number of different ways, for example, in the Wheel of Life.

You may categorise your life in a number of different ways. In my case, the piano will take high priority and may have a segment of its own.  

It matters only to you what the categories and priorities are, but working them out, is a very useful exercise. Once done, you can then pick a month and jot down in the various categories how much time you are spending on them each day. This is useful in terms of measuring payback, but it becomes even more useful if you write down your mood score and think how you are feeling at any particular given time during an activity. Once you realise that your mood score is poor in certain activities, then it’s time for action, but this is often easier said than done as so many of us feel obligated and the tape that runs in our brain is: “I must”.  However, unless we collect the data, we can’t really make a choice. With obligation, the first thing is to think about whether you say “No” or whether you say “Yes” and whether you could preface the “Yes” with “If I were to say yes, then what exactly would it entail?”. This can be a useful discipline to use internally, if not actually said out loud.

I have many friends and coachees who aren’t really happy and don’t know where to start, but this methodology is a good starting point.

If you would like further information on one-to-one coaching or on our workshop on how to transform your life and work, please do get in touch.

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