We all have 1,440 minutes in a day. What matters is how we use those minutes to get the results we are getting.
The table below show the average time Australians in 2006 (sorry that was the last time the survey was conducted) spent each day on different time categories vs the average time I spend on the same activities in 2020.
|Activity||Australian average in 2006||Moi in 2020|
|Sleeping, eating & hygiene||46% = 11.2 hours||35.4% = 8.5 hours|
|Employment/study||16% = 3.8 hours||50% = 12 hours|
|Household management & child caring||17% = 4 hours||12.5% = 3 hours|
|Free time||21% = 5 hours||2.1% = 0.5 hours|
Clearly, I have many opportunities for improvement based on these figures! The point is, in 2020, middle class working parents spend a disproportionate amount of time working and simply surviving compared to time spent caring for their children and rejuvenating themselves.
In an effort to change the balance back to where it should be, I’ve begun focusing on redistributing my time by using various time hacks. I can’t call it ‘saving time’ because that’s beyond our control, but we can choose how we use our time.
The keys to effective time distribution (or time management) are:
- Understand how you currently use your time
- Define how you would like to use your time, and why (that will motivate you to stay your course)
- Assess the gaps
- Choose to change
- Find time hacks that work for you to help you achieve your ideal
I know that sounds simple. However I can share from personal experience it takes commitment to break old patterns and replace them with new habits. I can also share that every little bit counts, and it’s worth it to get what you want and change the balance in your life.
10 Minute Challenge
If you’re not happy with how you are spending your time now, take a few minutes to work out:
- How you are allocating time currently (be honest, you’re the only one who will see this) – this should take no more than 4 minutes using the descriptions above.
The calculation I used to work out the hours is:
You will most likely know the hours spent on each activity eg 11.2 hours x 60 minutes divided by 1440 minutes x 100 = 46%
- How you would ideally like to spend your time – 3 minutes using the same formula
- Identify the gaps – 3 minutes
Now you know what you need to focus on. The first step is always awareness of the facts… Check out Time Hacks for some of the ways I redistribute my time. And let me know by commenting below, which area/s you need to focus on to get some balance back in your life.
Interesting resources for those who want to delve deeper:
How Australians use their time: Source Australian Bureau of Statistics, note last survey was 2006. You can assess your time usage against this average view.