#onetalkontask: an honest report on Thuna's time management experiment

For the campaign I chose the “How to gain control of your free time” by Laura Vanderkam for all the obvious reasons you can think of:

  1. I ain’t got time to bleed
  2. Netflix is my best friend and
  3. my hobby of choice is sleeping.

So you see, the struggle was real. Laura Vanderkam argues that we don’t build the lives we want by saving time. We build the lives we want, and then time saves itself. By thinking the availability of time as one’s own priorities, it should be fairly easy to live exactly the life we want (because you know, time saves itself she said). Translated to my particular case, I wanted to spend more time with my friends, my better half, meet all deadlines, reading tons of books and still watch my beloved TV-Shows. (Honestly, that sounds already quite utopian, doesn’t it?) 

Anyway, I took Laura’s advice and for 3 weeks, from the 7th of June onwards, every Friday at 4pm I would sit on my desk and plan my next 7 days – always according to her idea and equation:  

I don’t have time  = It’s not my priority

I structured my todoist-app around three themes, namely personal, career and relationships – just like Laura suggested – and would plan time slots for each category in my calendar.

Long story short, here are my key takeaways after three weeks of intensive calendar-ing and todoist-ing:

Every minute I spend is my choice.

Ok, this one is straight out from the talk – but is wise, it’s true and so easy to put into use.

Personal, Career and Relationship are guidelines and themes - nothing more.

In the first week, I was so excited to especially plan some Me-time and Friends-time in my week. However, having 3-5 goals per week and per themes, kinda stressed me out. I felt even more obliged to plan my friends into my week (one good thing though: the relationship goals made me reach out to some friends, that I haven’t seen for a really long time). For the future, I’d rather skip one theme or have less goals, which brings me to my next point.

Relaxing and chilling is a valid personal goal.

I guess most people easily misjudge personal goals for personal-development goals. More books, more documentary, more self-developing classes. But me? I don’t function and my ideas are crappy under stress. So I learned to balance my schedule and make sure to have some time to breath and take a break.

Goals are not To Dos

At one point in I started seeing those weekly goals as To Dos (and I guess I still do). On the one hand, it does make sense to finish the novel, that you’ve been reading since 1985 but on the other hand, I could become a doctor overnight. Less is sometimes more, in that sense, please set realistic achievable goals (It was for sure in the talk – I probably didn’t not pay enough attention back then) 

Small moments can have great power

This one is also from Laura. As a commuter I started reading books and listening to podcasts on the train instead of checking emails or using social media. This one is my personal key takeaway and most favorite part of the experiment. I’ve learned and done so much during this 30 minute time (!!!) frame that the train needed. On not-so-good-days, I used the time for my personal goals by looking out the window – just to think (nothing at all).

Surprisingly it took me an hour each week to set my goals. (Is that supposed to be like that or am I particularly slow?) One thing I did not really learn though (and what I hoped to learn) is how to not procrastinate – but I guess, this is my next year’s #onetalkonetask talk then.

Happy time controlling, guys!

Hugs, Thuna – Curation.