This past week I was given an assignment to track everything I did in 15-minute increments. I started on a Sunday at midnight and went until Saturday. After 168 hours and 672 entries, here’s what I learned.
1. I Do Not Get Enough Sleep
This one wasn’t really a surprise considering I am currently in the middle of engineering school, but I didn’t actually know how much sleep I was getting until now. There was a single night where I got more than 8 hours, and on average I got 6 hours of sleep per night. This, of course, resulted in a lot of time making and drinking coffee. Tracking my sleeping hours has made me realize I need to do a better job of prioritizing rest to raise productivity.
2. I Wake Up Every Morning Between 5am and 7am to Check Emails Then Go Back to Bed
So, I know I do this every single morning, but I never thought about it until I started writing it down. I still didn’t think anything of it until Tuesday night when I was reviewing my spreadsheet to see how much time I was spending on school. I noticed that every morning I had tracked that I got up on my own, read emails, and then went back to bed until my alarm woke me up. I have no idea why this consistently happens, but it is interesting to me that there are completely unjustified things I do habitually.
3. Taking Breaks Helps Waste Less Time
I spend an excessive amount of time on school. Oftentimes, I find myself with more hours of school per day than sleep at night. Since my workload is so heavy, I usually binge study which is often followed by a few hours of doing nothing while my brain recovers. Tracking my time for the past week has made me realize that instead of spending 5 hours straight working on school, I should be working in hour or two hour-long increments followed by a 15-minute break. Taking this approach to everything I have to do helps boost my productivity and eliminates the need for huge brain breaks after binging schoolwork.
Although tedious, tracking everything I did for a week in 15-minute increments has led me to realize more about myself and optimize my future actions. Even though I was given this task as an assignment, it is something I would highly recommend to everyone as a way to work toward self-improvement!