30 Days of Productivity: Day 1

I had no real plans for day 1 – I just decided to go about my day as I normally would. As expected, it wasn’t very productive.

I tracked my activities in 30 minute increments and then divided them into the 5 following categories to analyze my time. In the case where I engaged in multiple activities in a 30 minute block (such as 20 minutes working at 10 minutes socializing), I picked the dominant activity (in this case working) for categorization purposes. Same goes for multitasking.

  1. Relaxing – watching TV, socializing, napping
  2. Domestic/errands – cooking, cleaning, shopping
  3. Career – work that someone pays me to do (aka my jobs)
  4. Personal development – self-directed learning, personal ventures, blogging, and networking
  5. Commute – walking to work. I also include “getting ready” in this category, which is minimal since I’m a software engineer 😛
  6. Unproductive – mindlessly surfing the web, procrastinating, trying to get into focus but can’t

Time Breakdown:

I tallied all the half hour increments and made this chart.

Hours by category
As a pie chart!

Analysis:

  • It’s kind of insane to see how I spent 6.5 HOURS “relaxing”, and that’s on a full-night’s sleep! A good hour of this was taking a long bath, and another 2.5 hours centered around watching TV at dinnertime. I highly suspect the reason is because I started a new (part-time) job the day before and starting a new job is always stressful. This is the kind of behavior I’m hoping to eliminate in this challenge.
  • It’s alarming that I spent 3 hours on errands – these were a bunch of small random things like looking at flight/dates for my trip to Southern California and looking into car detailers since I will be selling my car. One thing I noticed is the time I spent on errands was pretty fragmented – usually grouped around my commute times. I wonder if I would be more effective if I set aside a specific time for errands instead of doing them haphazardly before/after my commute.
  • My workload was unusually light – but it’s not always that way. I’d like to better take advantage of these times by spending more time on personal development instead of relaxing or errands.
  • I’m happy that I didn’t have any “unproductive” hours. That said, being busy isn’t the same as being productive! 😉

Optimizations:

  • Tomorrow, I’m going to focus on spending more free time on personal development. I made a list of tech topics I want to learn about. If I have nothing to do at the office, I will spend that time learning about those topics.
  • I’m also going to attempt to convert some of that “relaxing” bath time to “personal development” time by playing a podcast. That way, I’ll still get to relax in the bathtub, but I’ll also get to learn more, too!
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