Personal Productivity, Productivity & Lifestyle

How do we Really Spend our Time?

When Hours was first released, I was pretty excited about organizing my life into its simple blocks of colors. As quite a few Hours customers have testified, I’ve found that Hours comes in handy not only for tracking billable hours, but for tracking how I spend my time in general.

From the first couple days of tracking all my time in Hours, I learned some things that surprised me. First of all, I had a lot more “grey” or wasted time than I expected. I was also spending way more time than planned on a certain volunteer project that was supposed to be on the back burner. I wasn’t spending at all near enough time on the personal projects that are most important to me. Through just a bit of tracking, I was able to identify problems and reset priorities to make myself more productive.

If you tracked your time, would you be surprised by how you spend it? Here is how the average american working person spends their time, according to

time use on average work day

And leisure time:
leisure time on an average day
According to Yosef Lerner of, the average American spends 9.1 years of his or her life watching television (that’s two years of commercials!). Compare that to roughly 3.5 years eating and drinking and 10 years working.

Without tracking your time, you may fall into the trap of wasting time or spending more time than you planned on projects that just aren’t important to you. Perhaps tracking time could help you to allocate your time proportionately to your most important priorities and goals.

Minda Zetlin, an entrepreneur and writer for, wrote that when she started tracking her time she learned a lot of valuable lessons. By comparing revenue from projects with the time she spent on them, she realized that there were some tasks she was spending to much time on, some tasks she needed to spend more time on, and some tasks she needed to allocate to other people.

If you tracked your time, would you find any surprises or practices you would want to change?

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