I'm Abe Wolfgang, an Electrical Engineer, writer, Father, husband, and full-time lover of story. I blog about those stories, how they impact us as humans, and why they are important. Occasionally I write my own as well.

Budgeting My Time

I just started this experiment with time-blocking my day. I found a notebook, marked out lines for each hour, then filled in time blocks with activities that I want to focus on during those times.

One thing I noticed immediately was the sense of intentionality about the time I spent doing things. I had this constant feeling of "am I doing the right things right now?" I also noticed that, if I structure my evenings, I can cut out a lot of the time sinks that I typically fall back on. It might sound lame to schedule something like watching TV, but if I don't then I might wind up on the couch all evening. It's painful for me to admit, but it does happen, and probably a little too often.

I'm still learning how to use this system the best way, and a lot of my working time right now is just one big block labeled "Task," but I can see how it would be helpful. For example, I am now able to designate some of my day to working on things that are not in the urgent and important category (or the urgent and unimportant), and can focus on some things that are important but not urgent. I can work on things that will have value down the road, or indirect value to what I am doing right now, but ultimately help me to do my job better. Instead of putting out fires all day, jumping from one urgent task to the next, I can focus my energy on productive things that will bring even more value in the future.

I can also see how this system would work well for those who have a much busier and more hectic schedule than me. I am fortunate to have a rather straight-forward and distraction free work schedule, and I sympathize with those who have all-day meetings, endless emails, and other time sinks at work. Scheduling your time can allow you to turn your focus from certain tasks (some things are fixed in schedule, but sometimes you just need the courage to say no), and spend time doing things that make you better at what you do.

The key thing that I really want to address with scheduling my time is how I can be better. I want to be a better husband, father, friend, employee, etc. The best way for me to do that, the best way that I can think of, is to be intentional about my time. Not stingy, or selfish with my time, but generous and above all intentional.

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