Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How Many Hours Do You Need?

Mid-October already? For some reason, September/October are such horribly busy months. Maybe it's the pleasant weather. Kat and I spend a lot of time outside catching up with yard work and other home maintenance projects.

It's also birthday time in her family, and we travel to Austin for a couple of different birthday celebrations. Then there are budgets to put together for organizations I'm involved with, specifically church and homeowners association.

But all of that is not much more than we have at other times, and much of it is fun stuff (not the budget stuff!!). So why am I rushing from one thing to the next, with so little time to spend on my transition goals, and feeling that I've ended the day with not a whole lot done?

Recently a group of us in my church discussed the stewardship of time. (The topic of stewardship is percolating in the parish -- 'tis the season). One person asked, "Do you have enough time in your week? If not, how many more hours would you need?"

How many more hours would I need? And for what? While I am still tying up loose ends from my real estate business, most of my time is not spent on real estate. So how exactly am I spending it?

I like the idea, brought up in the group, of tracking hours for a week or so to see where time is being spent. It's the same concept as tracking where your dollars are going, with the idea that it's difficult to make a realistic "budget" without knowing where the hours are currently being spent.

Our rector offered a chart for tracking hours which lists some major areas of daily living:

Personal Growth

For each I write the # of hours presently spent, the "ideal" # of hours, and the difference (+) or (-).

My ultimate goal is not to schedule my days to the minute. I wouldn't follow such a schedule any more than I'm able to follow a budget that allots money to the penny for different categories. I do hope to gain insight. If I find I'm spending 50 hours of the 168 hours in a week reading, that will tell me something about why I have "no time" to make better progress toward my goals.

By the way, the photo above is of our back yard tree, a Chinese Pistache. The color is actually from last year, closer to the end of November. At this time in San Antonio, the trees are still green and the weather warm, though cooling off some. But it SEEMS like an October picture :-)