People have too much to do, and not enough time to do it. Time is scarce and everyone is busy.
But there are ways to make the most of the time we have. Over the next several posts, you’ll learn, step by step, how to create a time management system that works for you, your lifestyle, and your schedule.
Step One: Awareness
Time is a currency more valuable than money. If you spend a dollar, you can turn around and earn another dollar. But once an hour passes, you can never get it back. Just like starting a budget or changing your diet, in order to make a change, you must first be aware of where you spend your money, what you’re eating, or how you spend your time.
Know Where You Spend Your Time
In order to make the most of your time, it is INCREDIBLY helpful to know how you spend your time everyday. You may think you are going non-stop all day, but you might be surprised to find out just how long you’re scrolling through Facebook each day. (I was SHOCKED when I did this exercise myself.)
Don’t Judge, Just Pay Attention
One way to keep yourself accountable is to track your time. You can do this with paper or you can do this with an online timer. Either way works. The key is to track consistently and honestly.
Do this each day for one week. Don’t judge yourself. Just pay attention and be honest with your time tracking.
If you prefer to track your time online, I recommend Toggl.
Toggl is an online timer that allows you to effortlessly track your time. Simply hit “start”, type in what you’re doing (the name of the task or whatever you’re working on), and hit “stop” when you’re done. It’s so easy to use, and it is available on iPhones and Androids, as well as the Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browser extensions. Fair warning… you have to remember to use it. It’s very easy to forget you’ve got the timer going, so awareness is key.
Paper Works, Too
If you prefer pen and paper, I’ve got you covered. I’ve created a daily time tracker that you can download below. Each day, print a copy, write down the time you start your activity, the name of the activity (making breakfast, scrolling through Instagram, working, making dinner, watching TV, running errands…), and the time you stop the activity. Keep these printouts in one handy spot.
This exercise is NOT meant to add stress to your already busy schedule. This is meant to bring you awareness. At the end of the week, you’re going to review your time logs. Without judgement, take a look and see where you spend the most time. It’s an eye opening exercise.
In Part 2, we’ll discuss what to do with this new found “time awareness” … ELIMINATION.
Until then, Happy Time Tracking!
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