What I Learned From Time Tracking (part 1)

January 26, 2016
time tracking data
Soooo.  I’m not going to bore everyone with a race report, because I’m already bored trying to write it.  I will just summarize:
1) It was COLD
2) I ran pretty steady splits!  Yay.
3) I did probably lose a minute in the photo op w/ A&C
4) That was totally worth it
5) I met my (not too ambitious) goal and post-kid PR’ed!
And I’m going to take this entire week off from working out.  Maybe I will do some barre3 and a short easy run this weekend, but Monday-Friday are going to be rest days.  I am super sore and very slow today, so I think I need it.  And I think it’s natural/healthy to take a purposeful break every now and then. 
In other news, I finished time tracking for a week!  I vaguely remember doing this once before, and coming to the same conclusions:
(yeah, another list – sorry!)
1) I do not have time/energy to do everything I would like to do in an idealized life (nor does anyone else, I am sure!)
2) I hate that I waste time that I do have on the internet.
Ana wrote an intriguing post last week entitled Three Thing I Wish I Didn’t Enjoy.  I thought long and hard, but I could only come up with one.  And it’s THE INTERNET.  As in: BLOGS.  FACEBOOK.  SOCIAL MEDIA.  THE VOYEURISTIC EXPERIENCE OF READING ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE’S THOUGHTS, LIFE, EXPERIENCES.
I have for the longest time been drawn to this.  I have no idea why.  And today’s apps/social media avenues are just evil (in my opinion) in that their singular goal is to keep my eyes on them for as long as humanly possible.  To make me click to check out “likes” instead of reading, singing, walking, listening, living.  I hate that I enjoy this, and that I do it.  It’s sort of a flow state, in that an hour can pass in what seems like five minutes, but then the hour is just . . . gone.  And I learned nothing, gained nothing.
I suppose the time log was useful in that it (once again) illustrated how precious each moment really is (because on paper, that week looks quite short!), and provided some hard data on what I need to work on if I truly want to get the most out of life.


  • Reply Amy March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Same with me, and I don’t really know how to address it. I don’t think it’s necessarily "bad" or strictly voyeuristic to read about someone else’s thoughts and experiences (case in point: reading your blog!) — I’m sure you learn a lot reading others’ blogs, even if it’s just the different way people think or do things. I find other people fascinating and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that! (For example I totally loved your post about your shoes.)

    That said, though, I agree with you that social media is basically evil in its true intentions. Anything to keep us from actually living our lives …

  • Reply Sarah March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I love how you worded this. It is so true and it makes me sad that I spend so much time on the Internet. Particularly, Facebook! Other forms of social media (blogs, Instragram) are much less of a time suck for me.

    What particularly resonates with me is what you said about that hour just being gone and we’ve gained nothing from it. I don’t necessarily wish to be productive every minute of every day, but it is quite disheartening to this that I waste so many hours on absolutely nothing.

  • Reply Shelly March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I love reading other’s experiences as well and I think it is ok too. It’s not the blogs that bother me as much as Facebook where I don’t need to know the mindless stuff. otherwise I do get lots of ideas from your blog and others about different ways of doing things. And I think parenting is hard and it is so nice to know that we are not alone. Young kids are wonderful miracles and draining and challenging! I wished I found it in me to post comments more as I fully agree with you when you talk about the difficult days and the good ones and trying to stay present through it all!

  • Reply Young March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I totally agree in that I’ve also looked to realize that a significant chunk of time just vanished while I was on the internet. And it is usually doesn’t feel satisfying. But I started using a timer to give myself a specific amount of allotted time in which I can peruse the internet. Once that timer goes off, I force myself to close out whatever screen I was on and go do something/anything else that doesn’t have to do with being on-line.

    I like reading your blog, though, because I usually learn something, get good tips on books/music/dealing with kid issues, and get inspired to workout more regularly and organize more efficiently.

  • Reply Lee Becknell March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I think that if you enjoy it, let yourself enjoy it. It’s okay that it can be meaningless.

  • Reply Kathy March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    If you are looking for something else to read on the internet ( : ) ) , I love the NYT Sunday routines column, which picks a New Yorker — sometimes a regular person, sometimes not — and tracks his/her Sunday routine.

  • Reply beth March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Ahh the internet. I, too, have a love/hate relationship with it. I do my best to control my internet time to specific blocks of the day. It’s hard though and I do slip up. Often. I don’t do social media though so that helps. I also don’t own a smartphone. That helps too.

    I am considering getting one of those adult coloring books. I need a low impact hobby that I can turn to in the evening/weekend when I feel the itch to go on the internet.

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I agree completely. Like I said, I wish I didn’t enjoy it so much…its not completely useless, I learn things, I feel a connection with people, feel less alone, etc… but the problem is that it is so LIMITLESS. you can just keep clicking link to link, refreshing the feed, etc… and a lot of that IS useless. Hard limits, and only reading the few pre-selected blogs I really have a connection to is the best way for me. I also use a timer for taking breaks from my work; I should use something like that at home too. Its not about quitting Facebook or blogs or anything completely, but about being limited & intentional about social media or it can really take over.

  • Reply Laura Vanderkam March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I think people need a certain amount of brainless time. I suspect that a reasonable chunk of what is now internet surfing time would have been relatively low value time in the past too (TV, puttering, reading similar stuff that’s on the internet only in print form).

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