I often ask clients who are struggling with time management to fill out a time log. This way they can see exactly how they are spending their time, and I can see what might need to be adjusted in their weeks. I just filled one out myself to see how I measured up.
I learned a lot about my schedule and how to streamline things a little more. Here is a detailed summary of one of my days, and how I could have adjusted things to make for a smoother day.
6:00 Wakeup, check email, Facebook, read blogs, social media, read a devotional
7:00 Make breakfast for the girls and me, make lunches, clean kitchen, empty dishwasher
7:30 Get ready, start a load of laundry
8:00 Take kids to school
8:15 Work on a presentation at Starbucks, then drive to client’s
9:30 Work with a client
11:30 Grab a quick lunch
12:30 Work with another client
1:30 Drive home
2:00 Work on presentation at home, change laundry
3:00 Pick kids up from school
3:15 Make snacks, help kids with homework, talk about the day, clean up kitchen, empty lunchboxes
4:00 Fold laundry, answer emails, social media
4:45 Make early dinner for kids
5:15 Head to the gym
6:45 Home, eat dinner leftovers
7:00 Shower, put youngest to bed
7:30 Clean kitchen, straighten house, wipe down counters and table, start dishwasher
8:00 Watch TV with family while working on blog post
9:00 Put oldest to bed
9:30 Bedtime routine, wash face, brush teeth, read
10:15 Lights out
Here is what I learned:
One: I always think that I don’t have time to work out in the mornings, but really I basically play on the computer for an hour every morning. I could get up 15 minutes earlier and go to the gym for an hour before anyone else wakes up. Then I wouldn’t need to leave the family to go in the evening when I am super tired anyway.
Two, I often had this chunk of time from 3:15-5:15 that I just kind of hang around. Sometimes, I am helping kids with homework. Sometimes, I am trying to get something done for work, but it is not time well spent. I am pretty fractured during that time. This is the time of day that I am most tired, and it’s tough for me to concentrate. So I tend to waste those hours and not accomplish anything. Perhaps, the kids and I could head straight to the backyard or to the park to play for an hour or so before we start homework and other work. Being outside would revive us and give me energy to focus for the rest of the day.
During other days on my weekly time log, I noticed that I was running a lot of errands to get one or two things. It would be smarter to stack these errands together, or to wait until my list was longer before running around. That way I waste less gas and time.
The point is being aware of how I used my time really helped me to see if changes needed to be made. Are you aware of how you use your time? Try keeping a time log for one week and it might help you too!