I tracked every minute of my life for 3 months

so for the past three months I have been meticulously tracking every day in my life I'm not sure why I've kept it up for this long to be honest I definitely didn't plan on doing it but as I look back over the past three months I have completely changed how I plan my days and it has had unintended consequences over my life let's talk about it so this idea really stemmed from a problem I was facing it was a big problem in between the work that I was currently doing every week I had a massive project Wedge its way in it's a new feature length film it's great it's exciting but it's also taking a lot of my time and it's been well a little bit stressful while this film has been in the works for a couple years we just got it funded at the end of the summer and things quickly escalated with a deadline rapidly approaching early next year the problem I was facing and a problem that you've no doubt faced yourself is how do you find the time when you don't have any time left it already felt like I was so busy my schedule so packed that I needed to find a solution and this is the solution a calendar what started with me simply trying to stay more organized and keep my head above water led me to track the bulk of my days and find some really surprising things about how I was spending my time so before I started this is what my typical week look like now if you were to judge me based on my calendar you'd probably assume that I spent all day watching MasterChef spooning peanut butter into my mouth which don't get me wrong does happen but I never really kept a very tight calendar before this all started I would add meetings phone calls and shoots that I needed to keep track of but I never went into that much detail all my independent work and personal happenings would be organized in an app called to do which has its limitations when it comes to scheduling events and organizing my day but all that change at the beginning of this experiment when I started packing my calendar with tasks projects editing assignments meetings my workouts and vacations so while this is what my calendar looked like before I started this is what it looked like after I wasn't doing any more stuff than normal but I was tracking nearly everything and that eventually led me to change how I was planning my days now of course I didn't track my day down to the very minute every single day I wasn't that tight with it but I did keep a pretty good schedule throughout this entire process from the moment I woke up to the time that I went to bed I wasn't tracking brushing my teeth drinking coffee and clipping my toenails that would be super creepy but I often tracked it down to the 30 minute mark I kept my laptop closeby at all times but the tab opened up to my calendar I had already created a shortcut on my bookmark bar so it was easy for me to get to at all times this helped me to remember to keep it updated throughout the day as my plans changed and they always changed while having a calendar open at all times helped the real reason I was able to build this habit for so long was because my problem was so big that I desperately needed a solution the only other option I had was to fail to meet my deadlines and I wasn't gonna let that happen also if you can't tell I'm pretty type-a so anything that can add a little bit of type anus to my day I'm on it I just said anus didn't die so I kept track of everything on my Google Calendar I downloaded the iOS app to keep everything in the same ecosystem across all my devices based on some advice I got from youtuber Thomas Frank I created a few different calendars that represent different aspects of my life each had their own color so I could easily see where my time was going I made a calendar for personal this could be lunch with a friend going to the gym grocery shopping etc then one for work all my meetings phone calls shoots editing and writing would fall under this category and finally one for travel now I don't commute very far to work [Music] but this calendar help me plan ahead for our long drives around LA road trips out of the city and long flights across the country the times that I travel usually aren't productive so I wanted to see them separate from my other calendars that way when I look back I could see the actual time I was working versus personal or travel so before I get to the main takeaways of this week's video I want to thank my sponsor audible so this year I have learned so much about self-discipline and but even as much as I have learned there truly is and only can be one master and that is David Goggins he details the Unreal story of his transformation in the audio book can't hurt me the audio book details his story from poverty depression and poor health into an elite Navy SEAL and ultra endurance athlete it's fantastic and I highly recommend it as a terribly slow reader myself audible allows me to listen to tons of audiobooks every year I listen to him while I'm at the gym doing cardio or while I'm commuting around LA start listening with a thirty-day audible trial choose one audiobook and two audible originals absolutely free visit audible.com slash Matthew Bella or text Matthew Bella to 500 500 the links are in the description below as I got started it felt satisfying to stack my days like Tetris I learned a lot from this process and it solved a few problems in my life first as I had imagined it helped me to prioritize and organize multiple projects at the same time like I said I've got two pretty big projects two main priorities right now but on top of that I've always got probably another dozen or so micro projects that I need to stay on top of and this really helped me to stay organized and make sure I was hitting my deadlines and not falling behind with any of them it also helped me to say no to the things that I definitely knew weren't a priority and yes to the things that were most important to me one thing that I started to do at the beginning of this experiment was batch my networking into one day the word networking makes me feel a little dirty but it's basically just time that I spend connecting with creatives appearing as a guest on someone's podcast or bending time with friends so instead of spreading that out over an entire week I would batch it all into one day this was pretty cool cuz it allowed me to say yes to a lot more things than I typically do I don't often do podcasts and interviews and really make the time to connect with other people but now that I had everything scheduled into one day it felt like it wasn't interrupting the rest of my work and pushing things to the side when you have these constant interruptions when you have a phone call and a meeting and then maybe a podcast interview and they're spread out over the course of a week it really interrupts your flow and it can hurt your productivity overall eventually as the week's went on I cut out this networking day simply because I was a little bit busy I felt like to reach my deadlines I needed that extra day every week but this is definitely something I'm gonna bring back in the future next as a business owner I need to track and log all my expenses everything from meals to flights to networking events and props I usually batch all these at the same time every couple of months or even once or twice a year if I don't get around to it but in order to do this properly you need to have an explanation for the expenses so if you have a receipt for cookies from six months ago you might have a hard time remembering what the purpose was how could you possibly write off cookies for your taxes well now that I had a detailed account of every day from the past three months this was crazy simple I cannot tell you how easy this was compared to times in the past I would simply look at my credit card statement or my receipt and then double-check that date with the date in my calendar and then I would find my alibi I mean I would find my the thing the reason why I needed an alibi and there it was Tuesday October 15th film intermittent fasting YouTube video the cookie was a problem and the last and probably most significant impact on my life going forward is that I was able to look back over the past 90 days and see where I was spending my time to really get a bird's-eye view of how my days were planned and this is a very similar experience to when I first brought all my financial accounts together when I brought checking savings my car loans student loans and I was able to see just how much debt I was in about a hundred and ten thousand dollars if I recall correctly and this experience with tracking my days and scheduling and being able to look back on it it allows me to stay accountable and to see where I'm spending my time and how I'm organizing my days and realizing that I could actually do a whole lot better I think the biggest thing that surprised me was the amount of variation no two weeks looked the same between travel interrupting my months getting sick family visiting I constantly felt like I was getting knocked off track to eventually get back on track only to get knocked off track again in terms of how I structured my days I usually found myself writing in the morning but that would change depending on how my projects were progressing I might also be spending my mornings filming or editing the one thing that I want to change going forward is something that I'm continuing to relearn and it's creating less and less opportunities for my days to get interrupted whether it's my workouts after workout showers getting groceries or doing laundry while it's great that I'm able to do these things during the middle of the day as a business owner it seriously hurts my productivity the problem of course isn't showers or workouts it's that once I get off track it's much more difficult to find my focus again going forward I'm going to try to move my workouts to the morning to leave most of my day free for work-related tasks now this might seem like the simplest thing you could possibly do to keep a detailed schedule or calendar and this is probably something that many of you do are ready but if you haven't then I definitely recommend you give it a try while it's not necessary I got by for the first ten years of my career without it it did help me find new ways and new systems for creating a more productive day and now I know that there's gonna be a lot of people that make fun of me in the comments because I'm always talking about different ways that I was able to improve my productivity but for me it's not really just a straight line I often have setbacks and I have struggles and problems and my days are often very inefficient I am NOT a productivity robot the idea is to continually get better and always work on yourself and always try to grow you know my motto just keep trying hey that's my motto my motto I'm gonna trademark that I really should thanks for watching and I'll see you next time [Music]