Saturday, February 13, 2016

Time Mapping: Charting Our Life's Course

Suppose you were to map how you use each hour of each day.  And suppose you were to rate each mapped hour on the basis of the quality of the time you spent.  So if you spent the time in rest, you would rate the quality of the rest.  If you spent the time socializing, you'd rate the quality of your social experience. If you spent the time researching markets, you'd rate the quality of your research effort.

What you'd learn from such a time mapping is at least two things:

1)  Are you truly acting on your priorities?  Are you utilizing your time the way you truly want to?

2)  Are you using your time effectively?  Are you doing well the things you're trying to do?

The right kind of time map would be a tool for staying mindful, for ensuring that we don't merely live life on autopilot.

The right kind of time map would also be a tool for becoming better at living our values--making sure that we are living the life that defines who we wish to be.

Without a time map, we live too much of life on autopilot.  We spend time on low priorities and we spend low quality time on our priorities.

Whatever kind of life we choose, we should live that life consciously:  with purpose and direction.  We would not take a cross-country trip without consulting a map; why approach our lives that way?

Further Reading:  The Purpose of a Purposeful Life

 Addendum:  Here is a simple version of a time map.  The activities are color coded and organized in time from left to right.  The time blocks represent the relative amount of time spent in each activity.  The shading of each block represents whether the activity was performed very well (darker shading) or not very well (lighter shading).  Each map represents one day.  Comparing the maps from day to day illustrates how we're spending our time and how well we're spending it.