What do your fondest dreams look like? Are they filled with success? If you are not seeing those dreams come true, try as you may, you might have a thief in the midst.
A thief? Yes. That is what a time stealer is – a thief! Time stealers rob your days of productivity. Days of lost time can lead to weeks and, before you know it, even months. Find the time stealers today and stop them cold. Put productivity back into you life and get back on track to reach those fabulous goals.
Tip: What you are looking for is not the unexpected interruptions – such as your child being sick and needing your attention. What you are looking for are those avoidable time-stealers – like browsing Pinterest for an hour – that should be put off till a better time or eliminated all together.
To discover just where your time is going, keep a time log. Time logs help us to step back to see the big picture. Are you losing time on the same activities every day? Are those activities of value or should they be eliminated? And, if they are of value, is there a way to control them so that they don’t eat up the time you should work? First identify, then decide. The time log won’t make choices for you but it will give you a view of what is going on.
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How To Make A Time Log The Old Fashioned Way
1. Gather your tools: paper and a pen or pencil. Do not make your time log electronically. All too often we get on our smart phones or tablets and that is where our time stealers lurk! Put the devices aside and write it down.
2. Write the day and date at the top of the sheet.
3. Keep track of what you do all day long, by times.
- 9:00 am poured cup of coffee
- 9:05 am checked email and answered some
- 9:30 am answered phone call
- 9:40 am checked Twitter etc.
- 9:45 am let the dog out
- 9:50 am ordered dog food from Amazon
- 10:00 am wrote checks to pay bills
- 11:00 am ordered more checks online
4. Evaluate. At the end of the morning, and again at the end of the day, take a look. Did something swallow up your time and take you off course? What was it that you should have completed and did not get done? If you stay with logging your time long enough, you will start to find some patterns that, when changed, will improve your productivity.
How To Keep A Weekly Time Log
Another method is to keep daily or weekly overview logs. Rather than chart every minute of the day, write down your daily accomplishments.
When you are keeping this kind of log, first make a to-do list. This list records what needs to be done daily or weekly. As you complete a task, check it off on your list then write it on the weekly time log with the day it was accomplished. At the end of the week, look at your to do list and compare it with your “done list.” In theory, they should look the same. When you get good at it, you will start getting more done than you had expected. Add those bonus achievements to your log.
So, what time stealers are in your life? Have you found a good way to handle them?