29 December 2005

You = Your Calendar

Over the past four weeks, The Jenius has been keeping a journal of time usage. Starting with a daily calendar on an index card (To Do list, appointments), notes are added to indicate what activity or activities were being performed during the previous hour. (That "every half-hour" rule just didn't work for Me.)

Let's end the suspense: The Jenius wastes a lot of time.

The average work week for The Jenius during that month was 39.2 hours, a good amount when one considers that the self-employed tend to overwork (confusing activity with productivity) or underwork, turning procrastination into an art form. But the break-down of those hours leaves Me far from satisfied:

-- Writing: 11 hours
-- Research: 14 hours
-- Planning: 4 hours
-- Marketing: 10 hours

Look at Research, which includes Web sources, magazines, newspapers, e-newsletters and business books: 14 hours. That's at least 7 too many. Those hours are better allocated to planning and writing.

But what about off-work hours? One word: Yikes.

Nineteen off-work hours per week were spent on Internet-related activities. Nineteen. And remember, this is AFTER being on the Web during the workday. Other major activities:

-- Watching TV (sports and science shows): 11 hours per week.
-- Reading (casual reading, mainly fiction and history): 14 hours a week.
-- Sleeping: 32 hours a week. (The Jenius would be considered "sleep-deprived," but has maintained a 4-5 hours-a-night schedule as a routine since His college days.)

Sadly, family time was a paltry 9 hours a week, on average, barely an hour a day. A tragic case of a terrible work-family imbalance.

Reducing Research, Internet and TV time would easily give Me an extra 20-25 hours a week--a whole day!--to focus on activities with a higher level of personal satisfaction. What My calendar has shown Me is that it is My choice of activities that defines who The Jenius is and what He accomplishes.

Think about that. Your choice of activities--your calendar--defines who you are and your ultimate level of success. You don't manage time, you manage tasks/activities, and through this management, you achieve what you want.

Makes planning next week more interesting, right?

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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