How often do you find yourself asking this question? It can be difficult to determine where your time goes, but if you can figure out the answers to that question, you will make big strides in your time management. For example,
- If you know that you are spending 3 hours on Facebook, you can save some time by shortening the time!
- When you see that you are super productive between 10am and noon, you can schedule your most challenging times during that time.
Below are a few ideas that you can use to figure out where your time goes.
Use a Weekly Planning Snapshot to keep track of your time in one-hour increments over the next week. At the beginning of each hour, write (or type) how you spent your last hour. Make it short; write for 30 seconds or less. At the end of each day, look at how you spent your time. Where did you spend your time? What were your productive times?
Estimate Your Time
When you are planning your day, estimate the amount of time each task will take you to complete. Add up the time you estimate. Does the total equal more than the amount of time you have to work today? If it does, you need to take some things off the list.
At the end of the day, compare your estimates to the amount of time your tasks actually took you to complete. How close were you? How can you adjust your estimates to be more accurate?
Yes, this sounds too simple to be helpful, but it can work. Spend the next week consciously noticing where you are spending your time. Tell your inner critic to be quiet and let you just pay attention to time. At the end of each day write down or record what you noticed during the day. Noticing where your time goes will give you new insight into time wasters and time savers that work for you.
Which one of these strategies will you try this week?