In This Episode…
One of the first things I recommend a new coaching client does when they start working with me to develop their productivity, is to get them to track their time.
It is an extremely enlightening exercise to carry out and forms the foundation of the work I then go on to do with the client.
Last year I did it for a solid 18 weeks and it transformed how I looked at my own productivity.
It was extremely revealing and a fabulous exercise for me to refresh myself on its benefits.
In this episode I share why I am doing it again and a quick overview of how I have found getting back into the discipline of doing it.
Hi, and welcome to today’s episode of the Profit Productivity Podcast. It’s your host, Michael Tipper. Who else would it be?
Now, today I have started an exercise that I recommend to everyone I work with who’s looking to improve their productivity.
It’s a very simple exercise, but one that does require a bit of effort. However, the rewards of doing it are really, really worth it.
And that is to track your time during your working day.
Now, many people know of this idea; many people can probably see the benefits. But actually doing it is quite a challenge because it requires you to be very, very aware of what you’re doing at any particular time.
Now, there are a number of ways of doing this and last year, I can’t remember which previous episode it was, but I tracked my time for 18 weeks.
It gave me a whole load of insights that were really beneficial.
Now it’s nearly a year later and so I’m going to go through the process again, just to re-benchmark where I am now that my business has shifted somewhat.
Also, with what’s happened with the COVID-19, I want to get a good grip on what impact that has actually had on my business and how I am working.
So today I’ve gone back and started looking at tracking my time.
Here’s The Best Way To Track Your Time
Now the best way of doing this in my experience, based on what I did last year, is to start recording what you do and then, every time you change tasks record the time and what you shifted to.
Providing you have a good mechanism for capturing that, it’s fairly straightforward.
I always recommend recording when you change tasks because it’s the point at which you shift your focus. You’ll get great insights by knowing every time you shift your focus from one activity to another, however trivial it is.
It’s Important To Track EVERYTHING!
So for example today, I’ve made a note of when I’ve been to the bathroom, when I’ve had a meal, when I’ve switched tasks from checking email to checking LinkedIn, when I started looking at having lunch and even when I’ve gone for a little walk to give myself a little break.
I’ve made sure I’ve made a note of those times.
As I’m recording this it was 6:53pm when I started this new task of putting together today’s episode of the Profit Productivity Podcast.
I thought it would be very, very interesting to get back into tracking my time again because it’s been a year since I’ve done it to such an extent.
And what I’ve noticed is that I’ve got out of the habit of capturing things in the right way ( I was putting it directly into a google sheet last year).
All I’ve done today is make a written note down the side of my daily plan to keep track of it. Sometimes I’ve not recorded the start time but I have recorded the end times. So I’ve got to go and work that out before I put it into a spreadsheet.
Just Tracking Your Time Makes You More Productive
But one of the things it does when you’re tracking your time, is it makes you very, very aware of what you’re doing.
And today has been one of my most productive days for some time. And I think that’s partly because I’m in a good space, but I also think it’s because I am much more aware of what I’m doing.
I’ve had an energy. There’s been an enthusiasm. I’ve had a tightness on getting things done.
It’s been about being able to strive to achieve the things I want to achieve. And I’ve got quite a lot done today.
I’ve even done more than I’d planned I was going to do because some things cropped up unexpectedly and in this new mode I got them done.
So I’m really pleased with the way things are going.
I’ll keep you abreast of how that evolves over the coming days and weeks.
I’m not quite sure how long I will be doing this for, but probably a long enough for me to be able to gauge where I’m at and then adjust my behaviours accordingly.
Already I’m starting to get the results and the level of productivity I want in order to achieve what I’m setting out to achieve.
So that’s today’s episode.