Time. Occasionally, it creeps by like a sluggish house cat leaving people impatient and edgy. More often, it streaks past like a jaguar in pursuit while busy folks scurry to catch up. If you find yourself marveling at the productivity of others while languishing at your inability to accomplish the things on your to-do list, it’s time to look at your activities and see how you are using the minutes in your life, and how you can get more done by tracking your time better.
Here’s why you need an activity log.
A time log is easy to record and use. If you can write, you can keep a log. Simply make a list of the tasks in your day and the length of time consumed by each one. Be honest. Record completely and accurately. A time tracker helps only if it gives you the real picture.
Tracking your time helps you to see how you actually use your minutes. Do you really spend five minutes brushing your teeth? Probably not. Was your television time limited to only 20 minutes? Once you see daily tasks in light of how much time they actually consume, you can use minutes and hours more wisely and get more done.
A log of activities allows you to recognize the areas that dominate your time. Are you spending inordinate hours at your computer? Does time with friends limit you from accomplishing more at home? Are texts, tweets, and other phone-related activities sucking up minutes in which you could be more productive? The activity log will be a glaring sign of what you consider valuable because the tasks that are truly important to you will be the ones you make time for. A careful look at what you are actually doing with the hours you possess can help you take the next, most important step.
Tracking your time can help you to set (or reset) priorities. Once you’ve seen and evaluated your use of time, you can then realign your life in a more work-effective manner. Maybe you need to get up earlier. Or go to bed sooner so that you’re rested. Perhaps you should set a timer for some activities or enlist the help of someone to keep you accountable or use a phone app to keep a schedule.
An activity log that tracks your use of time can’t do the work for you, but it is a tool that can help you get more done with the time that you have.