Earlier this year I created and shared my RAGE model aimed at making sense of my own personal planning, to get to a point of balancing my work/life activities. I had sliced myself into 22 different personas, and for each persona, defined my current reality, aspirations, goals and expectations to achieve in 2016 going forward. I also found a way of prioritizing and ranking these personas using my own ranking matrix. Once I had those defined, the next step was to start collect the data, do the measurements, analyse, get insights, and then make adjustments if required. Run the experiment for a few months, until I've collected enough evidence to help demystify the path I should take.
This all started toward the end of January this year, and I'm happy to report I've diligently kept up with this experiment, and am ready to share this experience with my first progress review!
How did I manage the Time Keeping?
I use HarvestApp for time keeping. It is a simple, powerful way of keeping track of your activities. Used by people to track time spent on clients / projects / tasks, I created a personal project and added as tasks, each of the Personas/Subject pairs I split myself up as. I am using the free version which is working beautifully. So from my phone, using the app, I can very quickly switch between tasks and start the timers off. It does take some getting used, to consciously remember to log the hours - it becomes second nature after a while (my daily tracking is close to 24 hours with +- 4% error tolerance).
Recap the personas I ranked myself as split into:
This became the basis as "project tasks" in Harvest, with a bit more detail to focus on the specific subject.
Data Captured from Harvest (29-Jan-16 to 05-March-16)
From the January 29th to March 5th, I had logged a total of 873.61 hours on Harvest, with 96% accuracy, given that in this time period of 38 days (912 hours), not too bad going for the first iteration of this experiment. Here's a report generated from Harvest:
|Report view generated from Harvest|
Harvest comes built in with some very basic reporting, I needed to make sense of this data in different ways, like in my best tool of choice Excel(!), which Harvest caters for exporting the data straight to Excel, where you can do nice things with Pivot Tables & Charts :-)
Just focusing on the Top 10 activities that featured out of the 873.61 hours, and getting a percentage split of my time, the picture looks like this:
|How I spent my time over 38 days from 29-Jan to 05-Mar 2016|
So this is what I've picked up - on average....
- I spend 8.5 hours a day working as a Service Provider to my Client (MCA) - over a third of my day is spent working
- I spend 7.97 hours day Sleeping / Resting (which involves reading before bedtime) - another third of my 24-hour day
- I dedicate 3.5 hours a day on Family Time (this is the collective family time like dinner/movie time, school runs, but not one-on-one time with each member of the family)
- I practice my spirituality (prayer, Quran recitation, etc.) for just over an hour each day
- I spend just over an hour each day related to activities with my eldest child (10 year old son)
- I'm not doing too bad with my health & fitness goals, about 16-18 hours a month cycling or running
Overall the breakdown over 38 days (percentage of total hours):
|Row Labels||Sum of Hours|
|[Individual] Rest n Sleep||34,647%|
|[Consultant] Consulting - Service Provider to MCA||24,387%|
|[Family-Man] Family Time||16,047%|
|[Muslim] Spirituality - Practice n Awareness||4,762%|
|[Father] Relationship with Muhammad-Jawad||4,078%|
|[Husband] Marital Relations - Spending time with Fathima||3,228%|
|[Consultant] Knowledge-Base - Books||2,577%|
|[Individual] Health & Fitness - Cycling n Running||2,088%|
|[Business Owner] AS3 Time||1,730%|
|[Individual] Me Time (Nothing, PC/Surfing, Silence - Alone Time)||1,640%|
|[Community Member] Community NBHW Patrols||1,273%|
|[Friend] Social Being a Friend||1,148%|
|[Colleague] Work Social Relationships||0,553%|
|[Son] Relationship with Mommy||0,481%|
|[Blogger] Writing articles||0,317%|
|[Individual] Driving Car Time||0,244%|
|[Consultant] Service Provider Partners||0,228%|
|[Home Owner] Home Improvements||0,207%|
|[Father] Relationship with Ahmad||0,165%|
|[Job Hunter] Job Hunting Companies||0,096%|
|[Individual] Health & Fitness - General Well Being||0,072%|
|[Innovator Entrepreneur] New Product Ideas||0,027%|
|[Father] Relationship with Sarah||0,005%|
Now that I've got the data, how do I measure and compare against my initial planning, in terms of the focus areas for my personas that I'd ranked in importance when I started?? What if in reality I am focusing on other areas that are not ranked in my persona top 10??
I've decided not to make any drastic changes to my rankings until I've allowed three months of measurement, however, I could start looking at tweaking, fine tuning the following areas:
- I'm not spending enough quality time with my wife as I hoped (1:1 outside of the kids / family time)
- I'm probably sleeping too much, look at getting my sleeping hours down between 6-7 hours. Aim is to hopefully reach a level of fitness that could help with me coping with 6 hours sleep.
- I'm not getting enough time to focus on my own business AS3
- I'm not allowing enough time to push through my ideas / new product development stream
- I've not made any progress connecting with software / startup professionals (need to attend at least one meetup event a month)
- I'm not evenly spreading my Father-time across the three kids, currently it's skewed towards the eldest child
- I should probably move "Job Hunter" to a low priority now since I'm fully booked as a consultant for this year already (but I will still keep an eye out for CXO / GM / Director opportunities, or a fantastic startup venture for personametry)
- The same with "Potential Employee" - I am happy remaining a consultant for this year, unless an opportunity as above presents itself
- I should probably move "Investor" to low and bump up Entrepreneur, Software Professional & Programmer
Based on the original rankings set out in January, this is how I've performed:
Am I just plain old Crazy??
Maybe so, it depends on your point of reference :-) Time will tell...all I know is that I'm finding this experiment quite interesting to me personally, it is making me see things in a different light, I'm hopeful that after three months, it will help me settle on the core personas of value, leaving a lot the noise all behind...I still feel strongly that just as we can see a future for self-driving cars, I see a future where people are into personametrics to improve their self-worth, and lives around them...