All too often we say, “Where did the time go?” It’s frequently a reflex to end an exasperating day, a way to say we didn’t get done the things we wanted to. If you say it to yourself often, it may be one of those helpful hints mentioned earlier indicating that your system isn’t working well.
If you don’t know where your time goes, then it’s time to find out.
Create a time journal. Track your time every day over the course of a week. Enter into your journal how you spent your time that day. You can do this as the last activity of the day at your job if you are working and at the end of your day before you go to bed.
Create categories to help you understand exactly where the time is going: sleeping, reading, surfing the Web, exercising, watching TV, spending time with your family, interruptions at work, and other categories that are appropriate for your situation.
Enter the number of hours or parts of hours that you spent in each activity that day. You may be surprised! It’s also helpful to note the excuses you used in the course of the day not to get all of your work done, not to reach your daily goal, not to deliver the best you had to offer. This is the beginning and a very potent part of your process of becoming more aware.
Are you spending time in activities that are moving you toward achievement of your goals? The process of tracking your time may reveal that you don’t really have very specific goals, whether those be goals for a work day or the rest of your life.
Tracking your time will help you understand what is true and not true about how you spend your time. Only then can you optimize your time management to reach your goals.