Have you ever seen a highly productive person and couldn’t help wondering how they did it? What makes them so organized; so effective; so on-top of things? It just doesn’t seem fair! Most productive people aren’t trying to make your life miserable they are just living their own lives the best way that they know how. I’m that said person that always looks like they have all their ducks in a row. I must admit however it wasn’t always the case. In fact for most of my life I was the in one ear, out the other girl. I would constantly forget about schedule changes, important to do’s and even everyday tasks.
The reason behind my forgetfulness was because I was rushing from one thing to the other both literally and figuratively. But this all changed when I discovered a two part key to productivity. The bonus was that it was not only something easy to maintain but it also took minimal effort to get started.
During my unproductive time, and as always, I was on a diet. I was keeping a food journal to track every last bite I took. I realized that I could apply the same technique to the way I used my time. Much like a food journal a time journal allowed me to map the hours I was the most productive as well as identify hours in which I was wasting time. For instance, I was able to identify key blocks of time that I was not doing much at all, instead I was watching TV, browsing Social Media, and going out for my third cup of coffee.
By tracking my unproductive times I was also able to detect my most productive times. I was well on my way to making the adjustments I needed in order to ensure that I was using my time wisely and that I was being my most productive every chance I got.
With my first task of identifying unproductive and productive times completed, my second task was to organize my time into a workable schedule. I scheduled my usage of time with a time budget. In this case a time budget is just like a financial budget; I was able to allocate a number of hours (instead of dollars) to an activity each month. This works especially well for hours outside of work. For example I was able to budget 30 minutes every day to my side business, this equaled 15 hours a month; and/or 5 hours every week spending time with friends which equaled 20 hours a month. These were two items I thought I didn’t have the time for.
To me this was a fun and interesting way to keep track of and organize my time. A time budget also works perfectly when studying for a master’s degree or certification because it can keep time in perspective.
To recap, a time journal will identify how time is being used; while a time budget will organize time in a productive manner.
Good luck, comment below if you have any tips and tricks to share.