Una's Blog


71 How you spend your time

graphic-2by Una Hearne.

Here’s a fabulous and … well, potentially horrifying, exercise you can do to check out the choices you are making for yourself on a daily basis. Before you dismiss the idea, trust me, it’s worth the horror as it brings awareness and gives you the power to make better choices for yourself.

It’s simple (I do like simple things!) – Record what you do every hour of your day for at least a week – better still for a month. Literally every hour, or even half hour if that makes more sense in your life.

When you have a representative chunk of time recorded, add up the time you spend doing different things eg:

  • Sleeping
  • Eating
  • Travelling
  • Working
  • Family time
  • Household chores
  • Relaxation and tv
  • Socialising and other leisure activities

Compare the percentage of your time that you spend on the various areas of your life against your Values, your Vision and the goals you are working towards. Naturally, some of your time will go on necessities. But what about the time you get to decide what to do with? Are you spending it in a way that is consistent with your Values and Vision? Is there time you could be using more effectively to make your life better?

And PLEASE remember that time spent doing nothing at all is also important. This is not about trying to spend every minute of your life usefully, or in some way you think you ‘should’. this is about making sure you spend your time in the best way for you. The art of doing nothing in particular, just hanging out with great people, resting, having a little nap… all of these are noble pursuits in their own right and require no justification. If you have spent your time happily, it was never wasted.

On the other hand if you are shocked to find that you don’t know where much of your time went, or that you spent it watching pointless, unsatisfying tv, or with people that don’t make you feel good, or doing things you dislike or feel obliged to do, then all of this demands attention. Any time spent miserably is potentially a waste of your life. It needs looking at to see if it is avoidable for you or not. We are not going to be happy all of the time and we will experience plenty of miserable times, that’s ok, that’s part of life. What we want to avoid is spending time unhappily when this is not necessary. Awareness gives you the power to make different choices about how, and with whom, you spend your time.

You know best for you, you are the only person qualified to make life choices for you. Cut down on the things that make you miserable, resolve miserable situations as far as possible, move on from people that are not good for you. Do more of what makes you happy, hang out with more lovely people, you only have one life and it matters how you spend it.


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