If you scroll 45 minutes in Facebook, then it will take 34 working days year! Have you ever considered what you could actually accomplish or do with those 34 days? A lot of our future success relies on what habits we have. To understand how much impact non-useful habits actually have on our lives it is good to take a little time to map them out, do some measuring and some math. The end-goal of this exercise is to help you see what you can do to use this time mindfully to reach your goals and dreams.
So, let’s get started:
Step 1: Observe yourself during the week and make a list of all habits that you consider not useful. And be honest about it.
Step 2: Time to track how much time your habits take. Where you can, install some apps to help you track the time spent. Your Hour is a cool app for the phone, that tracks your app-usage: when you did or didn’t touch your phone, what apps you have used and for how long, what are your most used apps and what’s the average there etc. I use YourHour right now again to refresh my impression of how things are with real time data. Very enlightening.
For the computer I suggest for example Estonian-made Toggl https://toggl.com/ – the free plan of which includes enough to track your daily tasks and doings. With habits, though, I think a little notebook is best in your backpocket. Doesn’t need setup or anything.
Step 3: Now when you know how much time you use up on different habitual actions on average, do some math and multiply it by 365 so you get the time usage for a year. Do it separately for each habit. For example, scrolling on Facebook for 45 minutes per day, makes over 273 hours, a little over 11 24-hour-days or 34 8hour work-days. A whole month!
Step 4: Now when you have those lines of habitual actions, average daily time spent, time spent on it in a year, then think a little, what you could achieve with that time instead, if you used it otherwise. Improve some language, train pretty decent buttocks or read at least 12 000 pages of books or then just sleep 45 more minutes in each night to get a good rest if you don’t sleep enough. Amazing, isn’t it?!
It is absolutely possible that reading these examples already was enough, but I do encourage you to collect some data and do some math of your own to become even more enlightened and have even more impact on the choices you make on a daily basis.
Happy observing and calculating!
The idea of the exercise is from Marie Forleo’s book “Everything is figureoutable!” Go check out the book if you still haven’t.