Simplified Time Management for Self-Sufficiency
(Version 1.2, Copyleft Peter Voluntaryist Walker 10-21-2018)
Time must be budgeted for one to be self-sufficient:
- Some people can successfully do this in their head, so I'm writing less for them and more for what I call "beginners/restarters"; that is, those like I who need to write down plans and deadlines to hold themselves accountable. Below, "you", "us", "we", etcetera means us beginners/restarters. By us being more introspective and self-disciplined, those we love and those we tolerate also benefit.
- Self-management is the art of taking away excuses such as every day telling myself "I'll start tomorrow" or "I'll stop tomorrow". We humans all have the same number of hours in a day, but we differ in opportunities and priorities. All humans have emotional/mental weaknesses, just different ones and to different extents. If you don't know yours, think of a balloon you keep blowing up until it explodes. It exploded at its weakest point. If you were that balloon, where would you blow out, meaning to fail? If you have introspection and the healthy form of humility to get feedback from others, you can figure it out.
- I suggest we use these example formats and methods to get better life results. Using a composition book or spiral notebook as opposed to using something electronic fits us better because:
-- Doing things electronically often over-complicates them.
-- Paper is without tangents such as social media (Why thinking on paper is a fast way to focus | Ryder Carroll | Big Think YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/Bewf3F8u6A0).
-- Electronics often get lost, stolen, broken, etc.
-- Paper records are useful in family meetings, business meetings, etc.
Being economically self-sufficient is the same as being a bread-winner for a family; only on a smaller scale. Here is the rough average of how breadwinners I know and have known spend their hours in a routine week. This rough average is close enough for a benchmark; meaning something to compare yourself to:
- By "something to compare yourself to", I mean a starting point you can change into whatever works for you.
- By "routine week", I mean not on vacation, not having a catastrophe interrupt your life, etc.
A simplified method of knowing where your time goes is what I call "Time Categories":
- I'm basing these example Time Categories on 16 hour days; aka 112 hour weeks. Sleeping is not a time category, but if sleeping is a problem for you and you want to track it, you could make it category G or whatever.
- Time Categories overlap; for instance, if you and your best friend go for a power-walk together, that counts as B and D. The more you can overlap the more productive you are. *This is why the averages below add up to more than 112*.
- Here is one of my days as an example: A-4, B-6, C-2, D-3, E-2, F-1. That totals 18, meaning two hours overlapped.
-- My number of 18 ain't that great, but I'm single and retired, and that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
-- Coincidentally, 10-18-2018 is my example day in the photo. The photo is my first draft, but it's good enough for the rest of this month.
A = Employment/Equivalent (avg 50 hrs)
B = Relationship Time (avg 20 hrs)
C = Housekeeping/Hygiene/Maintenance (avg 20 hrs)
D = Exercise Time (avg 5 hrs)
E = Sanity Time (avg 20 hrs)
F = Legalities Time (avg 5 hrs)
Time Category Examples:
A = Working for pay, going to specific employment school/training for future pay, going on Craigslist etcetera to look for opportunities, going to job interviews, filling out applications, etc.
B = Parenting, helping out a friend, making new friends, family get-togethers, going on a date, being part of a social group, etc.
C = Shopping, cooking/eating-out, cleaning, laundry, taking a shower, getting a hair cut, maintaining vehicles, maintaining the inside and outside of where you live, etc.
D = A healthy brain depends on a healthy body:
- The best exercise works physical strength, endurance, and flexibility (how well you can stretch, bend, and move most parts in most directions).
- Any kind of martial arts training also mega benefits self-discipline.
- The minimum healthy time in a week to exercise is about five hours based on reaching your training heart rate (THR) for 45 minutes every other day, and most people take five to 15 minutes of starting exercise to reach their THR.
- You can Internet-search how to calculate your THR; I personally remember how my heart feels when I push myself at my top speed on my bicycle for as long as I can comfortably hold it.
- If I do something like fast walking that gets me half-way to my THR, I do it twice as long, and this may or may not work for you.
E = Taking a managed break from reality or whatever "Sanity Time" means to you. Hobbies, having pets, the great outdoors, journaling, doodling, motorcycles, bicycles, etcetera, whatever your personal things are.
F = Paying bills, getting ID cards, getting a lawyer for a legal problem, doing taxes, etc.
Referring to my above photo, I have to be able to explain what I did each day, so each time I fill-in a day with codes and numbers, I may need to write down the details. Referring to my below photo, a simplified method of holding yourself accountable to yourself is what I call "Weekly Goals".
- You compare this week's goals to where your time went the previous day. The reference https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDCA provides a best-practice method of keeping your plans reasonably on schedule.
- My photo example is for format, not content. Like the other photo, it's a first draft and good enough to start me for this week.
This document is posted at http://petewalker.me/post/time-management-for-beginners-and-restarters
Some people mostly do the Time Category things on their own, some have partners/house-mates/family/etcetera to help juggle it all, and some have counselors/mentors/therapists to help with self-management. A balance of all would be ideal; but life on the third rock from the sun often interferes with ideal balances.
I plan to update all the above as Version 2 and have it contain more details and cross-references such as the above PDCA example. Probably one week after Version 1.