About six weeks ago I watched this video of Randy Pausch, remember his Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon? This time it was a different lecture he was giving one on time management. Your own time management.
Yes, the video is long and you'll probably catch on before I did, but I was also busy wasting time that day and watched every bit of it.
His message: Life is short. Make good use of the time you have.
One thing he suggested was to do a time study and really see where you are spending your time. Are you engaged in focused work all the time, or are you frittering some, or a lot, of it away?
Well I thought, this is probably a good idea to check out. So I made up a handy dandy spreadsheet to see how I was doing; because everything in my life can be dealt with via a spreadsheet. It was terribly embarrassing at how much time I was wasting through out the day. BUT, because I took the time to look, I was able to make some changes.
And if I get prompted to make changes, then I want others to get busy making changes too. See how that works? I think it's called misery loves company.
Here is a picture of the sheet I used.
It was a very simple spreadsheet and it only took me a few days of tracking my time to see where the glaring issues were and where I could make immediate changes.
Don't wait until you get organized to try this. THIS will help you get organized.
It's like a financial budget for your time. You have to know where you are spending before you can make changes in those spending patterns.
Anyway, I broke the day down into 15 minute increments and then typed out various categories of things that I could/should be doing during those waking hours. My sleep was not up for change, except to add in more, which I really didn't over these few days of study. The video suggested doing the study for a month. I started with a day and then went up to a week just to see how things would go.
On the first day I found that I was spending an EXCESSIVE amount of time not doing things I should be doing. I am too embarrassed to even show that page to the wide world. But man-o-man, did it prompt change! I think the page I'm sharing was day 3 when I was whipping myself into shape.
If you work for an employer who pays you, be sure they are getting their money's worth while you are there; Hello Pot? It's Kettle--just sayin.
If you find that after a certain time of the day or night productivity drops drastically, then perhaps that prompts a change or a shuffle in your schedule to some activity that doesn't require extreme concentration.
Or if you find yourself being interrupted a lot during a certain time of day, plan on that being the main activity for that time slot. Train people to come to you during that time and ask them to wait at other times when you know you'll get your best most focused work done.
Maybe one of these changes will even allow you to skip burning some midnight oil.
Anyway, you only have so many 15 minute increments in a day, be sure you are using them wisely.
If you want me to send you a copy of the tracking sheet, leave a comment and I'll send it to you---when I have time.