I am halfway through this new book, and already I’m ready to audit my life. Seriously. I’ve formatted a spreadsheet, and each cell is as hungry for data as I am for change. I can’t wait to colour-code, prioritize, and file in alphabetical or numerical order. Am I a “library” type or what?!
In fact, I was ready long before I picked up the book. Lately, I’ve been feeling over-committed and asking “where does the time go?!”. I manage my routines, but I have the vague sense that they’re not optimal; that I could accomplish more and enjoy a fuller (repeat: “fuller”, not “busier”) life, if I only re-jigged some of my patterns.
The Life Audit promises to help me do just that. Its premise is that once you do a thorough, brutally honest examination of your existing routines, you can assess how much time is left over for doing the things that you love to do. Moreover, you can determine if the activities to which you currently devote your time are even worth that time, and whether you can combine or eliminate tasks, to ensure that you do only what’s truly important, rather than what you feel is merely obligatory.
Surely you would have to be a bit obsessed to record everything you eat, wear and do on a daily basis. But, even a week or month of recording may be enough to shock you. For instance, you may realize that your closet is jammed with 456 items of clothing, but you reach for the same black sweater at nearly every occasion. Or, you may think that you have a shortage of spare time, but yet realize that you’re watching 13 hours of television per week. Personally, I do not own a television set. I’m the 456-items-of-clothing type.
Ultimately, when you finish your audit, you’ll have an accounting of what you’ve been doing each day, with details about where, when and with whom. You’ll have a picture of the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the money you spend, the moods you’re in, and the goals you have for the future. It is this very personal reckoning which will serve as your motivation, when you begin crafting the life you really want to live.
Pencil? Check. Paper? Check. Excel spreadsheet? Check.
Now for the hard part: the honesty!
Check out The Life Audit and other such titles, by browsing section 646.7, next time you’re in your local library.