(TL;DR: Block off your entire week to see where your free time is.)

Several years ago I read a few books on procrastination from the public library.
In ultimate irony, it took me awhile to read them.

One of the gems I walked away with was an idea called Unschedule*.

Empty Week

The idea is simple, block out all the time in a given week that you’re doing something, count the remaining free blocks of time you have left.

Unschedule example

You’ll notice EVERYTHING is blocked: ‘Working for the Man’, sleeping, eating, and commuting. The pink blocks on Sunday were for resting and spending nothing but quality time with friends and family, and the blue blocks were schedule blocks for needed ‘me-time’. And as you see, what is left is those precious green blocks. Approximately 13 hrs every week.

That’s it. That’s my free time.

You’ll also notice this schedule is from 2015, a year before my son was born thus my new unschedule would is currently looking like this:

Unschedule example 2018

You will notice a few changes right away and some interesting INSIGHTS I noticed.

  1. More pink!!! That represents even more quality time with the family. I’ve given up my weekends and most of my evenings to spending time with the family ~ no regrets! :)

  2. Sleep in more these days. The whole family follows junior’s sleeping patterns, which is most based on the circadian rhythm of the day. He’s only two, so our limited day light winters will be interesting as he gets older.

  3. My freetime green block are now very limited, approximately 8 hours, and thus must be used wisely. ie No more Netflix binging useless shows… only good ones ;).

  4. Lunch and gym time have been very hectic of late. Some insight gained as to why I’m not as fit and eating healthy as I once was.

  5. Another insight was realizing why dinner time tends to be stressful at our household. We usually think about it at the last minute.

I highly recommend experimenting with an Unschedule calendar to gain some insight on how you’re spending your week. Here’s an empty template to play with.


Some Fine Books to Check Out

Getting Things Done The One Thing The Power of Full Engagement

YouTube Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch - Time Management

Freakonomics podcast

Death Countdown Watch

Death Countdown Watch

* There’s several authors taking claim for “inventing” the Unschedule. The book that I believe I read was “Still procrastinating” by Joseph Ferrari.