Time Management: Step 1 – Log it and Analyze it


What does Time Management mean to you?  Do you even think in those terms when you plan your day?  Do you even plan your day or do you let your day run you?

Time Management is defined as the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively.  So … is that you!!!!  Do you go home every day feeling accomplished and a To-Do List that has all the boxes checked off?  Yes – I do, I do – said no one ever!!!!!!!   There always seems to be more to do than time to do it.  Time management affects everyone, not just managers/leaders or business owners.  

The trick to time management really is just that “managing your time”.  There are no shortage of experts or books on this subject.  I am certainly no expert – but I can honestly say that I work at this.  I am continually in search of better, more efficient ways to get my work completed.  There is no right or wrong way – it’s what works for you and that is going to take trial and error.  But you have to try.  

The first thing that everyone should do is to figure out what they currently spend their time on.  I think you will be totally amazed at where  your “time sucks” are.  Try an experiment for a week.  Diligently log all of your activities for a week.  Be honest – if you walk into your office in the morning and Brigit sits down and spends 1/2 hr telling you about her weekend – log it.  Your the only one who is going to be looking a it.  If you stay 3 hours overtime – log it.  If you work through your lunch – log it.  If you answer emails at night from home for an hour – log it.  After one week – analyze it.  

Do you notice any of the following:

 – Do you jump from task to task?

 – Is your day planned or do you put out fires most of the day?

 – Do you spend time doing tasks that are not completed properly by others?

 – How much of your time in your calendar is not controlled by you and is unavoidable – meetings/travelling

 – Are you a multi-tasker? 

 – Do you have “notifications” turn on for your emails?  

 – Do you read emails immediately as they come in?

 – Do you work through the day without taking time for breaks or lunch?

 – Do you spend time looking for documents or notes because your desk is messy or you are disorganized in your filing?

 – Did you notice that there is a time of the day when you are more productive?

This experiment is not meant to make you feel guilty for not being very productive or for having bad habits.  It is simply giving you the power of information.  Once you have this information it is up to you what you want to do with it.  You can look at it and say “I’m doing the best I can and there is nothing that I am willing to change” or you might want to change everything.   Now I personally don’t suggest that you do either of those.  You should always look for ways to improve and even if you pick one item to do differently that’s a good start.  I also don’t suggest that you change everything.  Baby steps – look at changing 2 or 3 items first.  Once your comfy with those changes – move on and make more.  

Check out our next Blog …  Time Management – Tips and Tricks

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