The day has already passed by, and you couldn’t complete your work. Most of us suffer from such problems or something else that makes us willing to trade almost anything for just a couple of hours more. To avoid these situations, a time audit is one of the best and simple solution that you can follow. It lets you assess your time intention, the things on which you actually spend most of your time every day and set up protocols to check your progress towards the things you intend to spend your time on. The following easy steps would guide you for conducting a time audit.
Step 1: Setting Up Intentions
First of all, you need to set up time intentions. Basically, imagine your ideal workday and write down the amount of time you would ideally spend on activities throughout your day. You can set yourself some goals and allocate time accordingly. For instance:
- Goal 1: Projects and assignments (50 percent of your time)
- Goal 2: Research and skill improvement (25 percent of your time)
- Goal 3: Work-related communication with clients and colleagues (8 percent of your time)
You won’t reach these goals some of the time since everything isn’t under your control. However, you get a target that can be approached.
Step 2: Track Your Time
It's time to track your time data with a time tracking tool. It can be any popular and reliable resource like RescueTime, Hubstaff, or Time Doctor. Use the time tracking tool to look at the way you spent your time compared to your intended goals. Most of these apps have dashboards that will show you how far you lag behind or over achieve your goals. You can dig deeper and see the frequency of failure of the goals and more.
Step 3: Review Your Audit
Once you have a gauge of your time spending, you can set new goals and realign them to fit your active hours when you are most productive. For instance, you can allocate most of the time to work in the morning, do research and improve skills during the lazy hours, and spend less time on social media and emails to be more concise and precise with your communication.
Step 4: Create A Time Management System
Finally, place a solid time management system by adjusting your schedule and planning out every moment of the next day with time blocks. Everything from breakfast to work and even entertainment. This allows you to gain more control over your own time and lets you make quick decisions regarding the extra flow of meetings and requests. With previous assessments from the time tracking tool, you can also set up your own time management system more efficiently.
The importance of doing Time audit is increasing as our daily schedule gets more busy and overwhelming. However, it can only offer guidance. Improving your time management and gaining lost time requires you to change old habits, introduce new routines, and progressively apply new schedules. The human brain tries to resist any kind of change in our ordinary life. So, to pull through and reap the benefits of time management, you can also introduce someone to whom you would be accountable for these changes.