I mean exactly how much time you spend on the things that matter and the things that don’t, every day and every week?
This is really important because knowing this will help you to identify clearly the changes you need to make in order to make better use of your time to get the results you really want.
Here is a really easy exercise that will help you gather that information so you can be proactive with your time management:
Create a timetable that looks a bit like an old school timetable.
Days of the week across the top, time down the left hand side in hourly buckets.
You can make your timetable with a spreadsheet, a table in a word document or just good old paper and pen.
Each day, fill in your timetable with exactly what you spend your time on for each hour time slot.
Don’t go changing anything you would normally do. Just go about your daily activities as you always do.
If you spend two hours just messing about on facebook when you should be doing work, just put it in your table. Don’t make any judgement on it. Don’t beat yourself up if you spot things you aren’t happy with.
Just fill in each hour of each day with exactly what you spent that time doing.
Do this for at least a week. Then, at the end of the week, take some time to review your completed timetable.
What is the truth about your time management?
Look at the results and ask yourself:
- Where is your time going that you don’t like?
- What activities are you spending time on that aren’t leading you to where you want to be?
- What are your main distractions? What will you do about these?
- What do you want to do less of? What do you want to do more of? How will you make that happen?
- What do you need to put in place to deal with the things you are spending time on that add no value?
Once you have fully reviewed your completed timetable, what action will you take based on the information it has given you?
And that brings us to the real truth about your time management…….
It isn’t about time management at all. It is about self management.
The things that you have identified that need changing require you to manage yourself better, not time.
Have fun playing with this exercise.
What are your thoughts on the subject of getting to the truth of your time management? Share your views and experiences in the comments below.