Tracking Your Time
In this post I ask. Are you tracking how you’re using your time?
I have found that for those of us that are time poor, or have a lot of commitments, a great place to start is to know what tasks are getting too much attention. As well as which could use a little more. Categorise your tasks, and figure out how much time you’re spending in each:
- Value Added: Your few tasks that bring the most value to your role or business.
- Personal Development: These are very important but don’t necessarily bring and direct value. This can be learning, or working on new projects.
- Management: How long does managing, leading, and mentoring your team take?
- Admin: Necessary, or maybe not so necessary tasks that you perform on a daily or regular basis. Phone calls, emails, timesheets, meetings etc.
- Interruptions and fire fighting: Unscheduled calls and meetings. Crises. And any other non scheduled tasks that interrupts you from performing that value added activities.
Once I’ve made a log of where I’m spending my time, I often find that I’ve allowed for certain low value tasks to creep in and take up more of my schedule than I would like.
This is a great time to look at ways in which you can reduce the impact of these tasks, and maybe find some efficiencies.
A few things that I do are as follows:
- Do my top priority tasks as soon as I start work
- Do not check emails first thing
- Have periods of 90 minutes with my phone and email off, followed by a break and a quick bit of admin, or a completion of a simple low-value task
- Listen to audio books instead of reading
- ‘Pass the hot potato’. Attempt to delegate, refer, distance, or return tasks that get dropped on me. If mastered, this is an ultimate time hack. Dealing with issue keeps us busy and makes us feel like we are doing a good job, when most of the time it’s the total opposite. Great managers will be Potato Passing Jedis! By watching how they do it, or finding someone who loves fighting fires to send things their way, this will be a great inclusion in any toolbox.
Thanks for reading
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