One of the things that I’m very consistent at is getting a yearly check up with my doctor. Before that visit, I’ll go to a nearby lab and have some blood work done. Those results then, get sent to my doctor before our visit.
So, when I meet with my doctor, he’ll walk in the room. We’ll enjoy some small talk. Then, he’ll take a few minutes to look at my charts and my health records in the computer and we’ll proceed with the check up.
By looking at all my data and asking me how I’m doing, he is able to help me give me a better understanding of my health condition (the state of my health, if you will).
In a similar way to what I’ve just described, I’d like to challenge you to do a kind of “life management”check up, but before you can accurately diagnose your data, you need to have data to look at.
My challenge for you today is to begin collecting data on yourself. As a first step, try to intentionally document for a week, maybe even just for a few days, how you spend your time. Maybe you could mark down in 15 minute intervals what you do with your time, so that when you are done, your summary looks something like this:
– sleep 7 hours
-driving to work 1 hour
-work 8 hours
-meals 1 hour
-reading from the Bible and praying. – 20 minutes
-walk with my wife – 30 minutes
-getting ready for work -20 minutes
I think if you would be willing to do this exercise it might be revealing to you to actually see in black and white where you spend your limited, and precious time.
As you do this evaluation, a few thoughts come to my mind:
- do you see any trends occurring?
- in looking at the data, do you see anything that surprises you (such as something you are doing that takes more time than you thought)
- with the activities that you were doing, were they related to personal goals?
- from the times you have logged, not including sleep and work times, which seem pretty much accounted for, what would someone else commenting on what they see think your priorities are?
- did you see anything in the data that made you realize some adjustments needed to occur (if you do this project for a few days, the data might occur some things that are missing, or needing attention (like lack of exercise in your daily routine, lack of quality and quantity time spent with a loved one, lack of time spent with God, too much watching tv, etc.
Anyway, whether or not you go to the doctor every year for an annual check up is up to you. It is unfortunate when I hear that if someone would have gone to the doctor earlier, a major health issue could have been dealt with avoiding serious consequences now.
In a similar way, if you don’t do this “life management” time survey, or something like it, you won’t know what you don’t see. No one really misses out, but you.
It’s up to you. What have you to lose by trying this project? What have you to gain?