Are you ready to take your first baby steps in time management and getting more done?
I’ve already blogged about time management before in the past. Why? It’s important to just about everyone that cares about their productivity and how effective they are with their time. Think about it, what more could you have accomplished if you knew how to manage your time properly? In my last post, The ABCs to Time Management and Getting More Done I gave several tips of time management and how it has improved my overall effectiveness as the owner of a small business and CEO of an IT company in Austin, Texas. Now it’s time to collectively roll up our sleeves and get started with understanding where our time is actually being spent and how we can improve our effectiveness in the workplace.
Create an Activity Log to Identify Time Wasting Tasks
An activity log in time management is also known as a time study. One of my mentors Richard Jozwiakowski; the author of I Love Gray: Making Change Happen, first introduced me to creating and tracking my time using an activity log a few years ago. I discussed my eagerness to get more done and deeply expressed my inability to effectively manage my time with my mentor and his solution was easy: do a time study! As a small business owner, you’ll have so much to get done often times you wont know where to start. At the end of each work day you’ll never feel accomplished with your work output. Richard walked me through tracking my activities through the day over a period of a week. He advised that each work day from the second I enter the office to when I leave for the day, I keep a log of all the activities and time I spent doing those activities. After about a week of tracking my time, I quickly could see where I was spending most of my time and how much of that time was spent on critical tasks that impact the success of my business.
How to Create an Activity Log
Creating an activity log is the first steps to properly managing your time effectively. Two of the most important things you’ll learn after completing a time study using an activity log is 1. where you spend the majority of your time and 2. if you spend your time effectively on critical tasks. Creating an activity log to for a time study is easy, simply remember to write down every task that you do, how much time you spent, and if the task was A. critical, B. enabling, or not C. important. You can do this in a journal, sheet of paper, or by using an excel document like I do. The excel document I created makes it easy for me to track my time and keep logs of my progress over a time period. To download your free activity log simply complete the form below at the end of this post and be sure to select (activity log).
Remember, to perform a time study over a period of least 3 days. I prefer to track my time spent over a weeks time. Then, on a Saturday morning I will review my time log and see where improvements and adjustments need to be made. Review your time logs to learn something about yourself. Are you a time waster? Do you spend your time effectively? Could I have spent my time in more important areas? See where you can improve for the next week and remember to track your progress. Time management will improve your effectiveness in the workplace and soon become habit.
Have you ever done a time study? If so, what did you learn about yourself?
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