"On Monday, April 20, 2015, I opened a new spreadsheet on my laptop," writes Laura Vanderkam for Fast Company. I put the days of the week along the top. I put half hour blocks, from 5 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. along the left side. I began recording what I was doing on this time log: work, sleep, drive to train station, make kids breakfast."
She learned that being aware of how she was spending her time did two things: it helped her make more rewarding choices about how she spent her time, and it made her realize she has more time than she previously thought.
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Broadly, though, the most important outcome from time tracking has been a sense of abundance. I have always known I have a good, full life. Now I see the evidence, hour after hour. I see stressful times, such as the week before I wrote this when I was on planes three times, with multiple delays, ending up at the wrong Hilton somewhere in Ohio. But I can see that in the same 168 hours, I took the kids to an amusement park. I saw Renoirs and Matisses at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. I ate at one of my favorite restaurants with my husband. I sat on the porch multiple nights watching the sunset.
Without the time logs, I might be tempted only to remember the flight delays. I might tell myself I was rushed and harried. But with the time logs recording those sunsets, I simply cannot claim that I have no time.