A Simple Truth
Keeping a time journal is a genius trick to find out where you are wasting time, how you really feel throughout the day from activity to activity, and what you are avoiding. To do this exercise simply begin tracking what you are doing throughout your days, from morning routines to weekend activities. Print out these sheets if you would like to have a structure to your journaling and be sure to answer the kick off questions, they will be very helpful when you review your entries.
Here is some of what I found: I was lacking in clear action steps and goals. I have a broad vision of where I am headed but no clear action steps on how to get there. It became blatantly obvious that I need to structure my time more clearly and commit weekly to manageable action steps. I also need to track more precisely what is “must do” or my firm time commitments like work and kids activities, so I can find the pockets of time that I do have available. Having a clear plan for what I can accomplish in those times and sticking to it can alleviate the guilt and overwhelm I spend much of my time experiencing. By being unprepared and unclear of what my exactly schedule is day to day and what my daily and weekly goals are, I am inefficient and often unproductive. I have decided to start a goal setting group with some close friends. We will set weekly goals, action steps and report back how it felt and if we were able to follow through. Being open and honest in this way feels vulnerable and exhilarating. Putting myself in this space with people who I know have my back and are pushing to step beyond their comfort zone too makes it all feel more fun.
The beauty of this exercise is in the simplicity of what you discover. The truth of having your daily routine in black and white to analyze means you see what you have unintentionally (or intentionally?) been avoiding. It also helps clarify your goals. Through knowing how much time you truly have available you can decide if the goals and priorities you have set are the right ones for you at this time.
I encourage you to try this and even better if you can do it with a partner. Set a time when you will report back to each other and report what you found. Review the kick off questions and see if how you’re spending your time can be tweaked to lead you in the direction of greater happiness and less frustration. Having an extra set of eyes helps you to see more clearly and not be deceived by that masterful magician, Denial!