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Nine Tips for Getting Started With Time Tracking

A very good guest post by Matt Mazur - if you enjoy this (and I think you will), then you can find his blog at mattmazur.com. He currently runs two business apps: Preceden.com, a tool for making timelines, and jMockups, a high fidelity web design tool. Here's Matt -

Nine Tips for Getting Started with Life Tracking

Inspired by Sebastian’s posts about the benefits of life tracking, I decided to try it for myself. After several false starts, I’ve now been doing it for almost two months straight and have had some great results. In this post I’ll explain how my current tracking system works and I’ll share some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

How it Works

Every Sunday morning I print an eight page document that I use throughout the week to track various aspects of my life. The first page is an overview, which I will fill out at the end of the week to summarize my results. The remaining seven pages are devoted to each day of the week.

Happiness, Glory, Results: Pick One

Research has shown that having higher and more challenging goals leads to getting more objectively done, but feeling more distressed and dissatisfied overall throughout the process. [1]

This suggests that cranking up your standards higher will lead to more results, but less experiential happiness throughout the process.

Setting lower standards and exceeding them quite likely leads to less results, but more experiential happiness.

Not an easy call to make for most people. [2] But let's say you go a little bit off the deep end and say, "I want to achieve the best results possible and make the world a better place; a decrease in my experiential happiness will be worth it."

Well, it gets trickier.

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