We all have the same amount of time. Everyday, we have 86,400 seconds. The secret of the 86,400 is effective time usage. How effective are you using your time?
Some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you routinely complain about being busy?
- Do you have uncompleted projects that never get finished?
- Do you have high priority items that never get attention?
- Do you have relationships that are suffering from a lack of focus?
If you answered Yes, to any of these questions, a quick review of your time effectiveness is in order.
How to measure time effectiveness
Begin, by tracking all your activities for a week. The tracking should be done on 15 minute increments. List in detail what you are doing. If you are multitasking, list all the items.
After the week is completed, review it. What are the large blocks of time? Are the large blocks in alignment with your priorities?
Look for and remove time traps. Time traps are an activity where time runs in and nothing get out. Entertainment is an example of a time trap. When you are watching TV, time is going in, but nothing is coming out. This is a time trap.
Common Time Traps
- Checking Email, Facebook, Twitter, [Insert Your Favorite Social Media Here]
There are jobs that require you to monitor and manage and email inbox. Most jobs, however, do not require this. Check your performance review or goals for the coming year. I bet there is not a line about answering emails within 15 minutes of receiving them. I routinely tell my employees, I am not paying you to manage email. Social Media are tools. They are there to assist us. If you are checking your social media more often then every 2 to 4 hours, then your effectiveness is decreasing.
- Define Your Entertainment (TV, Internet, Websites, Movies, Electronic games)
TV is entertainment. You should consider your TV as going to the movies. You do not go to the movie theater and just watch a movie and the next movie and the next movie and the next movie all night. You show up for a specific movie, watch it and leave. Pick a show you want to watch on TV. Show up, watch the TV show and leave. Yes, the TV has an off button. Budget your entertainment activities for the week. If you are spending more than 2 hours a day on entertainment activities, your effectiveness is decreasing.