In January, I started a writing internship with a local organization in order to strengthen my writing skills and learn more about a field I am interested in. I learned rather quickly that this internship would be more than just writing, however.
One of these unexpected aspects of my internship was the requirement to keep track of my time. I’ve dabbled in time-tracking before – sometimes for high school classes, other times for personal reasons.
However, it was ultimately never long-time, and, therefore, never too daunting. However, this time I was asked to keep track of it everyday, for the duration of my internship. Yes, that means that I am expected to document every hour of everyday.
Now, of course I was intimidated for the obvious reason: that is just so tedious. But, there was something else looming over my head.
Gen Z’s are known for the phone obsession, but I’ve always thought my usage was normal. Was this time tracking activity going to change that perception? Or, perhaps self-awareness would kick in and nip that habit in the bud. Either way, I started with an unusual level of caution.
Instead of keeping up with my daily doings by hand, I opted to download an app. This color-coded wonder allowed you to document your time using “blocks.” additionally, if yo’ve gone too long without logging, it will notify you. Thus, I never went an hour without tracking myself.
That is when I realized I did have a problem, but it was not with using my phone. It wasn’t watching Netflix, not staying up too late or eating out too much.
No, instead I found I was working too much.
It is no surprise to me that I am a workaholic. After all, I take 19 hours at school, I more or less work from 4 p.m. on Friday to 5 p.m. on Sunday each week, I manage GrrlPunch and I write almost daily at my internship.
However, what was truly surprising was the numbers I put into work each week as opposed to normal activities. On average, each week I work more than I sleep. Even when I am with friends, I am also working in some capacity.
Using a time management app opened my eyes to my problem, and allowed me to keep it under control. Being a young college student comes with its own set of challenges. Why am I adding more issues to my plate by over-working myself?
As a result, I am now more intentional in the time that I take for myself. Instead of cramming in that extra article or staying up just one more hour to do extra credit, I allow myself to idly look at my phone or do a face mask.
Now, I find myself feeling a little bit more well-rounded and sane – even if this only lasts for a while.
If you’re concerned about how you’re spending your time, I recommend documenting your time for a week or two. It will clue you in to your unhealthy habits and give you the motivation to fix them.
Ultimately, everyone has that one habit that gets the best of them. However, it is important to find awareness and confront it face-on.