Where does all the time go?

Do you know what you spend the bulk of your time on day to day?

It might surprise you how much of your time is simply wasted.

Time is valuable, , , you have a finite amount of it every day and what you do with your time either adds value for you and your career or it’s wasted, never to be available to you again.

Consider time to be money, , , let’s say every hour of every day is worth $100.00 each. You have two options with every hour you have in a day, , , invest it or waste it.

If you use the time to do something of value that will help you succeed in something, it’s an investment. Spend time on things that do not add value and it’s wasted.

We all start with roughly  16 productive hours a day, , , let’s assume you spend 8 hours a day for sleep and rest. We won’t call this time an investment or a waste, , , we will make sleep time neutral although in reality I think it’s an investment in keeping you healthy. You may not need 8 hours sleep, , , it’s your call.

OK, you have 16 hours or $1,600 of value  to spend. Time to determine what you are spending it on, , , to learn if you are investing or wasting your time. Here is a little exercise for you.

Download the spreadsheet below at www.mde.net/tools/ActivityLog.xls

Let’s take a closer look at the headings I put in the tool.

  • Meeting
  • Phone
  • E-mail
  • Project
  • Planning
  • Travel
  • Commute
  • Personal
  • Rest
  • Other

You can change the column headings to fit your activity as you like.

Put in the time spent on each activity for each hour of the day. I like to use 15-minute increments, , , 15 minutes = .25 hour, 30 minutes = .5 hour, etc.

At the bottom, each activity type is totaled and a grand total should tally to 24 hours. If not, you have missed something.

If you want to be more specific in your activities, add as many columns of activity you want to help you better understand where you spend your time.

Do this for 7 days, , , 14 days is even better. It takes just a few minutes each day to recap where you spend your time.

Be honest with yourself, , , if you took the afternoon off to play golf and spent 5 hours at the golf course, , , mark it personal, , , not meeting time unless you actually did spend much of the time meeting. It is highly unlikely, though.

At the end of the week, do a quick analysis to see where you are spending your time. You might be amazed at how much time is actually lost in a day, , , and especially in a week.

You may want to do this exercise with your staff. It will be an eye-opener for them and should give you lots of insight into the productivity of your team.

Remember, it is your time. Invest your time in productive things and reap the benefits, , , waste it and you miss out on what you could have accomplished.

Best of success.

One response to “Where does all the time go?

  1. Awesome post Mike! Time (or the management of time) is my biggest struggle. Thanks for the Activity Log.

    Best regards,
    Kelly Reed, ITBMC

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