Dipping my toes in to Time Tracking

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Purpose

Build confidence in my ability to bypass motivation, track data with consistency and remain disciplined. Lay the foundation for a detached, observant, self correcting, results driven mind.

Discover whether tracking my time each fifteen minute interval will impact my productivity and wellbeing.

‘Test drive’ a more detailed time tracking to see how well it fits into routine practice (whether or not it drives me mad, basically).

Method

Using a table on Notion every day I’ll track events attempting to use objective third person language (any processing and interpretation work will remain elsewhere). In an attempt to reduce pressure I’ll start by doing one log per hour, the next day I’ll do two logs. Next I’ll do four for a total of three days worth of data at different logging intervals.

The tables for filling out data will be pre-formatted for convenience. I’ll attempt to do all this without the aid of alarms or timers.

Testing Period

The experiment will run Wed 17th, Thu 18th and Fri 19th of June.

Prediction

More time awareness will lead to better time use. The task of objective tracking will consistently bring productivity priorities to the front of decision making.

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Reflections from Day 1

  • Holy shit what a productive day, I smashed out more tasks of both the significant list and the todo list than I have in a long time. Really just a result of tracking my time through an event based lens?
  • Seems too easy. Time will tell.
  • Could be a result of my Tuesday bounce back, after a month of tracking it seems clear Tuesdays are the high point of my week and from then on I progressively lose interest, energy and drive until it refreshes over Sunday / Monday.
  • I felt eager to update more often than once per hour, because each event log was a little too large and significant things would happen a little too often. Interested to see how half hour intervals go.

Reflections from Day Two

  • Overall another insanely successful day
  • Every half hour mark was successfully recorded throughout the day, until work started
  • Future time tracking will have to plan for sections of time where I can’t or likely wont track

Reflections from Day Three

  • Found it difficult due to big emotional crash in the arvo / evening.
  • Still recorded almost all sections at 15 minute intervals most of the day.
  • Crashed and stopped tracking around 8 pm.
  • Perhaps working before having time to myself ruins my odds for the day.
  • A guardrail and danger zone list I think would be a fantastic idea.
  • The previous two days were insanely productive, it came easily.

All the tracking I’ve been doing has me learning a lot about my resistances so far. Not so much about my triggers yet. I think I’ll observe my self and continue to collect data about how my depression looks, or whatever this is.

I’ll marinade for a while and then write up a summary at a later date.

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What I did

  • Dipped my toes in the pool of time tracking (and basically blew my mind with new layers of awareness. Was I perhaps unpreapred for the knowledge? Eh probably)

How I did it

  • Each day I wrote a log of recent events, firstly each hour, then each half hour, then each quarter hour
  • I used tables in Notion for logging events

What I learned

  • My moods crash really violently. It felt extremely bizarre watching my mood crash under magnifying glass… To observe something so consistent that I’ve never actually noticed the details before. It’s been uncomfortable and eye opening.
  • Honestly, I’m still not even really sure I’ve processed it.
  • Notion’s databases are super powerful and diverse, I’ve since created one for my work - reflective practice - based on my fiddling around thanks to this experiment.
  • Growth feels uncomfortable.
  • Time tracking seems to have a great effect on productivity.

What I’ll try next

  • I’m going to try a visualisation project. I’m thinking of ways to create more of a data / numbers driven approach to analysis than my so far pretty qualitative attitude.
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