How Much Time Do You Spend on Your Most Important Goals in Life?

On a typical day, how many hours are you directly working on your biggest goal in life?  Subtract sleeping, eating, errands and working at the 9-5.  Subtract television, relaxing and talking on the phone.  What number are you left with?

Run a timelog and count up the minutes.  In my experience, most people are horribly disillusioned with where their time goes.  It’s easier to lie to yourself than to be productive.  I’d rather trust my watch and a spreadsheet than a subjective evaluation.

Now for the big question: If most of your time is spent maintaining the life you have, how will you reach the lifestyle you want?

I’ve already talked about why time is a poor indicator of productivity.  However it’s the easiest to measure.  All else being equal, the guy spending 8 hours a day on his #1 goal will have better odds of reaching it than the person who spends fifteen minutes.

Becoming a workaholic isn’t the point.  The point is to delete all the middling important commitments that steal time away from the #1.  Because, if your priorities don’t match how you spend your time, then you don’t really have priorities.

  • Valeria | TimelessLessons

    I have to run a timelog to know for sure. But for me, getting up an hour or two earlier is the surest way to have uninterrupted extra time to work on my personal goals, and I love the silence of the wee hours of the morning! It just gets me in the perfect frame of mind for a super productive day to have gotten so much done before most of my neighbors even get up.

  • LifeMadeGreat – Juliet


    And if we realise we aren’t spending enough time on our goals, then I feel it is also important to look at why that is. e.g. are we perhaps procrastinating? Could there be a lack of belief that we can achieve our goals? Or perhaps we have a fear of failure that is holding us back.

    Make each moment a treat 😉

  • Nicolas


    before thinking time management we first need to understand our goals for life. I believe that this is one of the most crucial prerequisites to make effective use of your time.

    I recommend writing down you private and professional goals on a piece of paper. Put it aside for a week and review it later. Ask yourself “Do I really want this?”. I want through a few rounds and it took a few months until I was sure.

    If you need some hints on how to find your goals for life I wrote an article with a small checklist on the time-management-master blog.