What's the best way to visualize where my time is being spent and predict how it will be spent in the future?

I am going to start medical school soon, and time is my most valuable resource. I want to compare how I actually spend my time vs. how I plan to spend my time with assumption that if I can get these two data sets closely aligned, then I have a higher probability of reaching my goals.

This also assumes that I am planning hitting my small goals.

Can someone chime in and let me know if I am asking the right questions? I am new to this way of thinking and this site and this is the most urgent area of my life that will change often, so I figure I do my best in tracking it.


When I returned to university as a mature student a few years ago I found that one of the basic skills being taught was time management. Although rather simplisticlly compared to TimeSytem/Time Manager systems the focus was on organising one’s time as a student. Basically the exercise was to block off hours for study, sleep, nutrition, relaxation (which could include sports and sex!). From that each student could assess when they needed to do things; attend lectures and tutorial, library time, cook and eat, sleep, take a break and what ever else occurs during each 24 hour period on each of seven days. This simple scheme gives you the base line from which to work.

How you spend study time is up to you of course but having a clear plan of when you will be in the library — always the worst place to study — or back in your study poring over the books, writing essays, etc is a finer grain model than the block method my second alma mater taught. Get yourself some study skills texts now as these will help you come up with metrics to determine whether you are studying well or not.


If you want software to automatically help you track how you spend time on your computer(s), I’ve built something over the last ~6 years that does just that: ActivityWatch - Open source automated time tracker

Try it out, and let me know what you think :slight_smile:

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