Do you ever glance at the clock just before 5pm when the workday has almost come to an end and ask yourself, “what did I accomplish today?” Are there days when you feel like you just couldn’t accomplish anything on your “to do” list? One thing we recommend to our clients in this situation is to use a time log to track how they spend their time.
You can create your own time log by creating a spreadsheet that has the time you start your workday to the time you end your workday. Not an Excel wiz? No worries, this exercise can be accomplished just as easily by taking out a piece of paper and writing time slots down the left hand side. We recommend using 15 minute increments. Next to the window of time, write down what you worked on or did. For example, write down what you did from 9am to 9:15am, 9:15am to 9:30am, etc. Did you check your email, talk on the phone, talk with a co-worker, work on a project, file, surf the internet, etc.?
Block off some time on your calendar right now to create a time log. Once your time log has been created, make it a priority to keep track of your daily activities for the next few days. Be brutally honest about how you spend your time; remember, this is only for your benefit. Keep your log close by so that it is easy to update throughout the day.
The purpose of this log is to raise your awareness about how you currently spend your time. Once you have a few typical days worth of your time logged, take some time to review it. You may be surprised to see where your time goes.
Check back for our next blog post on how to review and analyze your time log.
Don’t want to create your own time log? We’ve created one for you and its included in our current package special, “A Shot of Time Management “. You’ll get a one hour consultation, a time log, our book, Six-Word Lessons to be More Productive and two 15 minute follow up calls to help you analyze your log and create an action plan for change. Contact us today to book your package.