Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Lifelogging can save you time!

Are you efficient with your time?

Where does it all go? Why don’t you try actually recording everything you do for a day.

Starting now and for the next 24 hours, whenever you start something, lifelog it on Tagaabo. Tag it time_use or whatever you want to call it. And then when you finish, lifelog it under the same tag. Tomorrow, come back to this article and continue reading.

Did you do it? Congratulations!

Now, look back at all of your entries tagged with time_use.

Now that you know the beginning and ending time of all of your activities, you know exactly how you spent all of your time for the last 24 hours.

What do you think?

The first time I did this, I was shocked at how much time I was wasting every day.

Perhaps you have the same experience, or maybe you are more efficient.

But, did you notice that because you were monitoring your activities, you consciously tried not to waste time?

That happened to me. If you want to make the most of your time, I think it’s natural for this to happen.

Additionally, you may have discovered some habits and tendencies that you were not aware of.

In my case I found two tendencies in particular:

  • I was devoting WAY MORE time than I thought surfing Wikipedia and Mixi (a Japanese SNS).

  • I was losing a lot of time making insignificant decisions.

So to counter these time-eaters, I implemented the following measures (which works great for me!)

  • When I start surfing the web, I set a kitchen timer for a set time, say 30 minutes. When it rings, I stop no matter what.

  • When you recognize that a decision is not that important, just force yourself to choose quickly. For those insignificant decisions, I realized that the time I save deliberating over them is more valuable than the difference that the decisions make.

So, I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve figured out some great solutions for me to save time.

I think that is the key.

There are lots of established techniques on saving time.

However, since you probably waste time in your own unique way, you’ll have to figure out what will work best on your favorite time-killers.

But before you can come up with an effective solution to fight your own time-gobblers, you need to know where your time is going.

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