Welcome to the time-tracking challenge!

FullSizeRender-6Happy Monday. We have several hundred people signed up to track their time this week. If you’d like to join, you can download a time-tracking spreadsheet here (or just use a little notebook, or an app of your choice). You can sign up for daily motivational emails here.

I will post my logs each day here (starting tonight). While past time-tracking challenge weeks have coincided with what might seem like more interesting weeks, this one is fairly normal as things go (though there are no typical weeks!) My little guy turns 2 this coming weekend. We have a lot of kid activities. Nothing crazy. But one of my favorite parts of keeping time logs is that they act like little diaries of my existence now. I see how I spent my hours, and how we spend our hours is how we spend our lives.

I have been tracking my time continuously since April of 2015. I don’t find it too onerous. It just takes a few minutes per day. It’s OK to skimp a bit on detail in the interest of keeping going. Indeed, the level of detail is entirely up to you. Lots of people write me that they are horrified to find out how much time they “waste,” and certainly that can be one discovery. But we all waste time. The key benefit of a time log is that we make sure the stories we’re telling ourselves about our lives are true. I know I have time to read. I know I have time to exercise. If I am not doing these things as much as I think I should, I can acknowledge that it might not be a priority. I can’t say I don’t have time.

Anyway, this should be fun — and enlightening! I will check back in tonight. In the meantime, happy time-tracking!

11 thoughts on “Welcome to the time-tracking challenge!

  1. Well, there certainly are no typical weeks. I started my time-tracking week at 2AM when I was awakened by the sound of my toddler vomiting and crying, followed about 60 seconds later by the sound of my downstairs neighbor pounding on her ceiling because we were being too loud. I’m home with the toddler today, so I’ll definitely be logging fewer work hours this week than I would have liked. I hope my little guy will give me the chance to get at least a couple of hours in!

  2. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for initiating. I am new to the challenge but looking forward to learn something from this. Just finished reading Deep Work by Cal Newport (in which he mentions you), and so I am also trying to see if I can get enough deep work sessions planned our in your 15-min interval timesheet.


    1. @Raj – great, glad to have you joining us! Try to put together several 15-minute blocks of deep work – that’s the best kind. I love to spend hours on something I’m really into.

  3. Hi Laura,

    I am getting started with my time tracking today! I have been on a roll since listening to your book what the most successful people do before breakfast.

    Thank you!


  4. Hi! This is my fourth time round – I started about a year ago after reading your book and decided to schedule regular logging weeks. This one fell at the same time as your challenge. What I want to do at the end is see how my habits have changed since the first one. Thanks for the inspiration! And good luck to all trackers.

    1. @Sandrine- it is cool to see how one’s life rhythms change, but also stay the same too. I’ve enjoyed having some of my old time logs as memorials of what life was like then.

  5. I read your book last year. After a horrid 2016 in which I wasted it at work and stressed and tired missing most of my baby girl go from 7 months to 20 months! I have made one of my non negotiable daily tasks of 2017 to time track daily and make sure ‘I read to darcey’ everyday! (Read, play, bake…whatever takes our fancy)

    I am reminding myself to do it everyday using the commit app which I love and I track all my ‘non negotiable’ daily tasks there too.

    My ‘at the very least list consists of making the bed, read a chapter, read to Darcey, finish work 20 mins before the end, 15 mins self development, practice mindfulness and follow the 5 minute rule!

    A new sense of calm for 2017

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