Alternative Assessment: 48 Hours Essay

Most of us could recite immediately the many responsibilities we have each day and even estimate how much time they each take. For instance, we could probably recount the time spent in classes, at work, homework, meal preparation, etc. But interestingly enough, if we really began to ‘record time’, we might discover that we spend more minutes or hours doing things we might consider as ‘time wasters’. We might even be surprised at the amount of time we spend on what we call ‘throw away activities’. Those are the minutes we spend ‘napping’, ‘on social media sites’, ‘texting’, ‘watching TV’, ‘hanging out’.

This exercise will give you an opportunity to see exactly how many minutes you spend on your activities, everyday. You need to be honest, you don’t get graded for the choices you make but you will be graded for skipping large blocks of time by saying ‘studying’….and not recording more details, like ‘rewriting notes’, ‘highligting chapter’, etc.

During the next 48 hours, record what you are actually doing during each hour. I know you will sleep for ‘blocks of time’. You may record ‘sleeping’ during that time slot – so don’t worry about getting up to record each hour through the night….Be honest!


After two complete days, complete the below activity.


  1. Review your 48 hour time chart and evaluate how you spent your time.
  2. In one or two paragraphs discuss your evaluation including your assessment of ‘time spent wisely’ or ‘time wasted’.
  3. Proofread your paragraphs for spelling and grammatical errors.

To assist you in developing your thoughts, you may want to address the following:

  • Are you satisfied with how you spend your time?
  • Do you think there are ways to improve how you spend time?
  • In what areas of your life could you afford to decrease the amount of time you spend on activities, for example, texting?
  • In what areas could you afford to increase the amount of time you spend?