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Week 1: Tracking Your Time

9 Jan

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If you feel like you live in the middle of a tornado and time pushes you around – you’ve got to understand the storm before you can withstand it. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but I’d disagree. Scientists all over the world fighting to cure cancer, they study the disease, understand how it works – so they can develop a plan of attack.

Track Your Time!

1) 15 Minute Increments: To get a useful sense of how you spend time and where you lose time – take a full week to track your day in  15 minute increments

  • You’ll get the best view of how you spend your time if you can see an entire week at once.
  • You can use the spreadsheet I put together here!

2) Results at a Glance

  • Color Code! Since many with ADD are visually oriented, color coding information has been shown   to be very useful for ADDers and other folks alike when it comes to organization.
  • My Time fell into the basic categories listed below, and I gave them each a color:
    • Sleep
    • Commute
    • Personal Care & Improvement
    • Errands
    • Work 
    • Fun

5) Where DOES All The Time Go?

Here’s my first week of time tracking. You can see my biggest issues pretty quickly:

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  • My sleep patterns were all over the place
  • I didn’t make time for real or regular meals
  • I either forgot to track or didn’t shower often enough – who knows
  • Overdoing it, even with “fun” activities like shopping – 6 hours, is too much.

This explained a lot – why shopping felt like exercise, why I would buy cleaning/organizational products but never use them, and why my house was always a mess.

How to Tackle Your Top Time Sucks

Tackling our hyper focus tendencies will help put those habits in check and leave room for activities we’ve only seen people do in movies – like enjoying a relaxed glass of wine or -gasp – reading a book!

  • List Your Top 5: Make yourself of your top 5 focus areas as you start the process. From my tracking here, you can understand how simple routines became my learning for Week 2.
  • Post Them Up: Put that list somewhere you can see it- these will stay on the top of your mind and remind your family that you’re working towards a very important goal.

Tips & Tricks: Tracking Info on the Go

For those of us with busy lives or disorders like ADD, there are a couple tools to help.

  • Gold ‘Ol Pen & Paper: Perfect for your pocket or purse! And these itty bitty pens will let you color code as you go.

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  • 15 Minute Reminders: Apps like Alarmed can remind you every 15 minutes to jot down a quick note or countdown to your next task.

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  • Digital TrackingATracker Pro is an app that will let you track in real time and color code/categorize your actions. If you find this too time consuming in the beginning, go back to good old pen & paper.

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  • Google Docs: As someone with ADD I really like using google docs – that way, I can’t lose a piece of paper or have 5 notebooks I’m using at once- I can access my information from anywhere with internet! You can use our handy template to get started.

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