(I'll usually be posting "Simplify Me" stuff on Saturdays, but this is on my mind, so here goes!)
Do you ever get to the end of the day and wonder where it went? You know you were busy all day, but have no idea what you did all day. I have so been there!
That's the idea behind keeping a time log.
I asked Lisa to keep one for the week (and you too if you want to play along) for a couple of reasons. The first is that five of her goals (and the last one too, when you think about it) involve time. The second is that her first goal is to come up with a weekly schedule that she can follow.
And while we can stop and think about what we do every week, there's nothing quite like seeing it down on paper. What we actually do vs. what we think we do vs. what we want to do.
It's all well and good to come up with a dream weekly schedule, but if it's nothing like your real life, chances are you'll never follow it.
So I've been keeping a time log this week too. I downloaded the pdf I mentioned in the original post and have kept it on the kitchen counter. I started on Monday morning, bright and early (well, actually these days it's dark and early--there's not even a glimmer of a sunrise yet and it's already 6:04 a.m.).
Keeping a log has made me very aware of time this week. It's made me more intentional about time. It's made me notice how long things actually take to do. It's made me more on task about starting something and finishing it without getting distracted in the middle. If for no other reason than it makes it hard to say what you did in the teeny tiny blank on the piece of paper!
I'll have some questions for Lisa about her log on Saturday, but in the meantime, keeping a log makes me ask these kinds of questions:
What has surprised me about how I spend my time?
What are the things that I do every day?
Do my chores fall on certain days? Do those days work?
Do I have a natural routine?
Are there other things that need to be done, but haven't shown up on my time log?
It's chapel at school this morning, so I need to go get showered and dressed before the girls get up. Mornings don't go well around here when I have to get myself ready at the same time the girls are getting up and ready. It's much better if I'm able to focus on helping them.
But I just want to mention that keeping a log is a great thing for different areas of our lives too. I sometimes wonder, Where did all my cash go? And keeping a log (an index card in my wallet) for a week or two is a great way to discover where all those dollars go that add up so quickly--I really spent that much on coffee/diet Coke/fabric/fast food/groceries/eating out?
(I'm a cash only girl, so that works for me. But the same idea could work even if you're using a debit card, credit card, or checkbook.)
With actual records, I can see where I need to spend, where I need to cut back, where I need to save. Then I can set a realistic budget. For my time, my money, whatever.
I do just have to say too that it's also possible to keep a food log--writing down what I eat when that gets out of control. But I HATE doing that! It does work though. Sometimes knowing that I have to write it down--even if no one will never see it but me--keeps me accountable.