Tag Archive: time log



pocket-watchWhen people are looking to find out what things are wasting their time, I tell them to start by keeping track of their time. I usually give them this tool. Along with it they get a really simple process to follow each day. The biggest challenge when it comes to tracking your time is making the space to do so. It’s really easy to get caught up in what you’re doing for a few hours and then suddenly realize that you didn’t write down the last couple of things you did or you look at your log at the end of the day and see that you didn’t record the interruptions you had that day. Before you write anything in your time log, you’ve got to create the space for what you’re about to do. That has to be part of the process, or you won’t get the best results.

Here’s my process:

  • Know why you’re tracking your time (You’re looking to see what you’re procrastinating on, identify time wasters, etc)
  • Set your intention for the outcome you desire
  • Start your day by acknowledging that you’re going to record what you do as you do it
  • Record each activity and its level of importance (If you’re using my tracking tool)
  • Each time there’s an interruption, make note of it
  • Include the breaks you take-intentional or not
  • Keep tracking for about 5 days
  • Look at each day’s log to see what it reveals

Once you see what’s in play you can make the necessary shifts to shore up your daily habits to get and stay productive. Creating and holding the space to be consistent with your tracking for that week is crucial for getting the entire picture of what’s actually going on. Right now choose when you’re going to start tracking your time, get your log and dive into the process.

 


Wasting your time can be pretty frustrating. You really want to get to the things one your list but may not be able to figure out just what’s going on. But before you can get to a space where you’re knocking things off your to-do list left and right, you’ve got to look at what’s going on right now. Where is your time going? What things are stopping you in your tracks or detouring you? To find the answers to those questions, tracking your time is the step to take. It may not be the most fun thing to do, but it will let you see just what things are getting your time, allow you to record all of the interruptions you get during the day, discover if you’re giving your time to things that matter.

You might not see it at first, but making the space in your days to keep track of what you’re doing and what happens during the course of your day will give you valuable information. What you see on the front end is just a list of things you did, how much time it took to do each what things actually got some or all of your time. When you look much closer, you see…

  • Exactly what things you’re giving your time to
  • How you prioritized things and where you made the mistake of putting one thing before another
  • How to determine the importance of the things on your agenda moving forward
  • What interruptions tend to happen and which ones you allow
  • The difference between what got done and the things you had on your to-do list and what kept you from the important things

The biggest insight you’ll gain is seeing what your biggest time wasters are right before your own eyes. That’s priceless because it gives you the big picture. You’ve got to know what the reason for the problem is before you can create or apply a solution for it and logging your time does exactly that for you.  If you don’t know where your day is going, why things aren’t getting done and always feel pressed for time, chances are you’re wasting time. This is a great starting point for you. Start tracking your time so you can get the information you need and be ready to move forward with finding and implementing a solution. Use this nifty little tool to help you.

 

 


26709126 Year 2016 is ComingWhat I see on a regular basis is women going through their days fed up, stressed out and pressed for time. Many people were experiencing that frustration at the end of the year, and although we’ve crossed over into a new year, the frustration remains. Typically, when you cross over into a new year, you have great aspirations and big goals you want to accomplish, but there’s this thing that keeps you from it, making it take even longer for you to get from point A to point B.

Being caught up in all there is to do doesn’t help your quest and it doesn’t line up with the energy of having a nice, fresh new year to dive into. You’re being pulled in multiple directions, you have no idea where your time is going and the pressure is on, causing chaotic disorganized days. To make matters worse, your calendar looks like an over-stuffed closet and you have 101 things hanging out in the most dangerous place in the world—your head.

We’re at the start of a new year and if this is the way things are in your world right now it’s time to take the reins. You’ve got an entire year ahead of you, new goals and dreams to follow so now is the time to take the steps to empower yourself. Empowering yourself means learning exactly where your time is going, realizing what things are wasting your time, and knowing what kinds of things are interrupting your flow every day. You can do each of these by tracking your time for about five days. Each day when you start a task, write it down. While you work, keep track of the interruptions you get and how long you work on each thing. Be sure to note the level of importance for the items you work on. It might seem a tedious, but detailing everything you do will give you access to some great information once the five days is up. Once you’re done tracking you do you can see what things are actually getting your time, the kinds of interruptions that come into play and whether or not you’re focusing on the things that will help you accomplish those goals you created. The information you get out of this process is gold because you have to be able to know what’s really going on so you can address the problems.

It’s time for a clean slate and a new way of operating. Take the reins and take control of your days and your year by equipping yourself to have a better day-to-day experience and actually get things done, achieve the goals and dreams you created for this year. Tracking your time is one step in taking the reins. Get your time log here and discover where your time is going.

 


Productivity Chat

March 17th Chat Highlight

Storified by Sheila Hawkins· Sun, Mar 17 2013 16:03:20

Are you focused for the coming week?

Ready to get focused for the coming week and get to-dos & calendar in order? Now’s the time. #productivitychatSheila Hawkins
If tomorrow’s calendar and to-do list looks like Friday’s (same stuff) it’s time to do something different #productivitychatSheila Hawkins

Name your time wasters

Name your time wasters–big and small. It all adds up. #productivitychatSheila Hawkins
10 minutes here, 20 minutes there… #productivitychatSheila Hawkins
Q1: how much time are you wasting daily and why? #productivitychatSheila Hawkins
The average professional wastes 1.5-2 hours every day just looking for things. 7.5-10 hours each week of precious time #productivitychatSheila Hawkins
What’s your biggest time waster? #productivitychatSheila Hawkins

Something to help you identify your time wasters

Identify your biggest time waster by logging how you spend your time for about a week… #productivitychatSheila Hawkins
Look to see how you’re spending your time to see if you’re focusing on the things that need your attention #productivitychatSheila Hawkins
Use this simple tool to help you log your time and identify your biggest time waster http://ow.ly/j6Hj3 #productivitychatSheila Hawkins


As a society, we waste a lot of things including time. Most of the things we waste we have in excess, but not time.  We each get the same amount of time each day and once it’s gone it’s gone for good.

How much of your time are you wasting?  Do you honestly know where your time is going?  Are you wasting the estimated 2 hours of time that most people waste every day?  That 2 hours every day can add up pretty fast.  The truth of the matter is that most people don’t really know where their time is actually going every day.   So, how do you know you’re wasting a significant amount of your precious time?  Here are a few indicators:

  • Messy desk, cluttered work space, things not filed
  • Not being able to find things
  • Missing, being late for or often rescheduling appointments
  • Arriving to meetings unprepared
  • Tired and/or unable to concentrate

If these indicators are present, it’s time to get the clutter off of your desk, file things in an orderly manner and start planning ahead of time.  It’s also time to get a hold on your time.  Start by logging your time each day.  From the beginning of your work day to the end, log how you’re spending your time including the time that you spend on the phone, time online, and everything else that you do during the course of your day.

Do this for about a week then look back at your time log.  What do you see?  You might see that you spent 4 hours on a major project, but you know that 30 minutes of that time was spent looking for something related to it before you could even get started.  Maybe phone calls lasted longer than necessary and instead of it taking 15 minutes to make a couple of quick phone calls, you spent 30 or 45.  Perhaps you jumped into your inbox first thing in the morning (not a good habit by the way) and when you looked up you had spent over an hour and hadn’t gotten anything done.

Look at the things that are sucking up your time and create solutions for them.  That might mean organizing your office space and or files so that you can locate things when you need them or setting a couple of designated times to check your email each day instead of diving in first thing and going back whenever your email notification goes off.  As you look at how you’re spending your time, look to see if things are balanced.  You might see that you’re spending more time on administrative things and not so much time on your marketing.  Once you know where your time is going you know where to start to gain control of it and manage it well.

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