Time after Time
So today’s challenge in Ryan Holiday’s New Year New You challenge is to keep a time diary. Ugh.
He compares it to a food diary and a spending diary. (On a side note, My no spend 2022 hit a bit of a snag with a couple of Ebay purchases late last night. Damage less than fifty dollars, but still. It is the principle of the matter.)
There is one significant snag to a time diary rather than a food diary or spending diary, however. Doing a food diary costs no calories and doing a spending diary costs no money, but doing a time diary takes… well, time. Quite a bit of time if you are measuring in the minute detail Ryan recommends.
I have no doubt that keeping track of such things can be useful (I spend how much time a day on masturbation?). Often I will set rules to better use my time (On a side note, my reading before bed 2022 hit a bit of a snag last night as I substituted play Mass Effect Legendary edition for two hours. I enjoyed it very much, but still. It is the principle of the matter.)
Also, any challenge that has its own discord channel really should not lecture people about wasting time. Talk about bringing the beer to the AA meeting. Ryan concludes his message with a pretty good video about alive time and dead time. (That he made to promote a different challenge while back) But with the video I see a snag in the logic.
I agree we need to be focused overall. If we are wasting time in a dead end career. (Raises hand) are we still using our time to improve in other areas? Are we using our time to move forward?
That is all well and good. It is the minute by minute measurement that is the problem. I still have to fold laundry, mow the lawn and take the cat to the vet. If I listen to a podcast while mowing the lawn (Thank you whisper quiet electric mowers), or read social media while waiting for the vet, am I really wasting time? Should I really live in the moment fully when that moment is a waiting room with a barking dog?
Are you reading your phone while stuck on a subway or are you reading your phone instead of talking to a loved one? Context matters.
What also matters is downtime. Being on all the time is one way to live. But in reality, is it how you want to live. What is the point if you cannot enjoy a round of golf or watch a YouTube video you are interested in? There needs to be a balance. We can all use our time better. I plan to fully embrace this mantra…. by not doing a time diary.