How and Why to Track Your Time

Tracking your time, and using a time tracker, is a way of knowing exactly what you are spending your time doing, so you can make necessary changes.

 

How and Why do you need to track your time? Why do you need to know what you are doing with your time?  Because you may be wasting time on things that are not necessary, and things that are not productive.

You may be wasting your time on things that could be automated, outsourced, delegated or make simpler.

You could also be wasting your time on bad habits. This includes spending too much time on social media.

Once you know where your time is going, and what you are doing with your time, you can make any necessary changes, eliminate things, or do things differently.

This is a two part series on managing your time. In this first part, I will show you how to track your time, so you know where you need to make changes. In Part Two I will show you how to manage your time and put changes into place!

 

 

Track your time. How & why you should track your time #Time tracking #productivity #time management

 

 

Time Tracking for New Opportunities

One of the best outcomes of tracking your time is finding time to do what you want to do, or have always wanted to do, instead of spending your time doing unnecessary things.

To give you an example: You may find through tracking your time that you are sitting down for an hour or so each day on social media.  Yes it may be interesting discovering what your friend had for dinner last night, but you could be spending that time doing something far better!

Perhaps you have always wanted to learn a new language, wanted to learn how to knit, or another hobby or skill you have always wanted to have.

Instead of spending an hour a day on social media, you could be starting that new hobby instead. An hour a day is a good amount of time to dedicate to learning,and mastering, a new skill or hobby.

 

Time Tracking to Better Manage Your Time

Tracking your time won’t just give you opportunities to do other things with your time instead, such as hobbies and fun things.

Tracking your time also means that you can do things better in your home, and with your family.

By eliminating certain wasteful things from your day, you may actually find the time in your day to cook your family a better healthier dinner.

You may find the time to actually exercise.  You may not be so rushed so you can spend time reading a book to your child in bed every night.

 

Do you Really Need to Track your Time?

You may be wondering why you would even need to go to the trouble of actually tracking your time each and every day.

But can you honestly remember what you did every day, all day?  When you look back at your week last week for instance, can you recall how long you spent on social media each day? Can you recall how long you spent doing certain pieces of housework, or cooking meals?

It is hard for us to remember and recall everything that we do.  But writing it down, and writing down everything you do each day, for a period of time, means that you will remember everything, and see patterns to things. 

You only need to track your time for a certain amount of time, such as a week, or a couple of weeks.  This isn’t a huge long-term time commitment. 

 

How to Track Your Time

In order for you to get a good idea of where your time is being spent, you will need to track your time for a set period of time.

You will need to track week days, as well as weekend days. You will need to track working days, and well as days when you are not working.

You will also need to track mornings, afternoons, and evenings.

Every day you will be tracking and recording what you did with every hour of your day and night.  

I have made it really easy for you however! Click here to download a free Time Tracker.  

This time tracker is split into hourly increments every day.  That means that you can really get a good sense of each and every thing that you are doing in your day. Try to round everything you do up to the nearest hour.

Write down everything you do in the morning.  You need to record what time you get up, what time you eat breakfast and how long you eat it for. You will record how long your shower takes, how long it takes you to do your hair, and makeup.

You will also record how long your commute to work takes. How long it takes you to drop your kids at school.

In addition, record how long you took for lunch, and what you did during your lunch.

In the evening write down everything you do. If you sit and watch TV for an hour after the kids are in bed write it down. Write down how long it took you to prepare and cook dinner. Record what time you went to bed, and how long you slept for.

 

Record your Good and Bad Habits with a Time Tracker

You must be honest when recording things on your time tracker.

If you are not honest, this experiment just wont work for you and won’t be accurate. 

Remember, this is for a good purpose in the end, so as hard as it may be to admit that you sat on the couch and ate chocolate for an hour, that is what you did and you must record it!

By showing and highlighting your bad habits you will learn to turn them into good habits!

Tracking your time isn’t about making you feel guilty or accountable for what you spend your time on. It is merely to help you find more time for yourself and your family, time that may otherwise just be wasted.

We all have the same amount of hours in our day, but it is what we choose to do with those hours that varies person to person, and that we can change.

 

You Can’t Change Everything by Tracking your Time

Some of the things you do each day just can’t be changed or altered, even if they are things that cause you stress and take up more time than you would like.

For instance, you need to commute to your job, you don’t have a choice. You have to make dinner for your family at night. You have to have a shower each day.

But by tracking the time you are spending on everything, you will be able to see ways where you could perhaps make those things a little easier for you and your family.

So start tracking your time today.  Set a time period that you will track your time for. It can be a week, 2 weeks, even a month if you want to.

If each of your weeks is very different to the next, you will probably need to track things for longer. But if your weeks are pretty much the same, a week may well be long enough to track.

Don’t track a week that is completely out of the norm for you. Such as a week you are on vacation. You need a week and time period that accurately reflects your life as it is now.

Remember to download the Time Tracker Sheet right here!

Now you have learnt how to effectively track your time, and hopefully you have started to track your time. Jump to Part Two of this post, and learn how to manage your time better.

 

You may also like these Organizing & Productivity posts:

Get Your Finances in Order, and Have Fun Doing it!

How to set Goals that you will Actually Follow Through on

Habits of the Most Organized People

 

 

Tracking your time, and using a time tracker, is a way of knowing exactly what you are spending your time doing, so you can make necessary changes.

 

 

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