I did manage to work on the tracking hours exercise. For a week I tracked how I spent my hours, then plugged those hours into categories to see how my time is spend. A few insights:
- I had compared this exercise to tracking where your pennies go with the idea of planning a reasonable budget; however, it was really more like tracking calories with a goal of losing weight. It's a disciplinary technique. I found that I maintained focus and kept on track better with writing and project goals because I knew I would be jotting down how the time was spent. Keeping track of time will not be a daily task, but on shapeless days that require lots of self-motivation and organization, it's not a bad tool for staying focused.
- The hours of my week (a "normal" week) are fairly well balanced among the major areas of work, family, church, and community. While that seems good, my frustration is that I do not spend enough time on my job, which is writing. Some balance is good, but that's not what I need to improve. I need more intensity with my work.
- I don't have very many "normal" weeks. Some weeks or stretches of days are given over to guests or big events that come up. Yes I need more intensity with work, but sometimes I can simply accept what life is offering and not get frustrated.
- One area that is very much not in balance is Personal Growth. While I do read books that would fall in this category, things like exercise, taking classes, and working on Spanish are earning big goose eggs.
One last thing. I've been a little obsessed with time lately. I'm closer to fifty than to forty, and there's so much I want to do. My perception of time and attempts to manage it are related to this particular season of my life, a season that is busy -- fevered almost -- full of meetings and family and hopeful projects. I am determined to enjoy it for what it is while I have it. If I live long enough, the day could come when time moves slowly again and I have acres of it.
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." (Ecclesiastes)