Do you know how long it takes for you to do your daily tasks? Do you pay attention how long it takes you to fold the laundry, do a load of dishes, run an errand, grocery shop, bathe a child, create a content plan for your business? Have you even thought of a reason why you need to know these things? Did you know that in order to spend your time more efficiently it is a great opportunity to do a Time Inventory. What is that you ask? Stay tuned while I share what this is and how it will help you to be more effective with your time.
What is a time inventory?
Well before we can get to that point, we need to take into account that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. We have no more, no less and what we do with it is really up to us. Are you spending it learning? Are you spending it making memories? Are you spending it surfing social media, liking and comments on the adventures of others? Or, are you out there creating your own adventures and sharing it with the world?
What you choose to do with your time is completely up to you, and how you want to fill your day. You still only have 24 hours in your day, to do whatever it is that you choose. If you are wanting to do something productive with your day, then I would start with a Time Inventory.
A Time Inventory is just like it sounds like. It is an inventory of what you are doing with your time. It is a chance for you to see how you spend those 24 hours every day. This time inventory is a chance for you to see any patterns that you have in your life. Do you scroll social media while you are eating, do you read in the bath, do you use a Pomodoro to get the tasks done in your day? What time do you wake up? What time do you go to bed? These are all questions that will get answered while you are participate in a Time Inventory. You may not like the patterns that you see while you are in the midst of your time inventory, but it will definitely show you how you are using your time. BUT…you have to be honest with the inventory. You have to account for every hour of the day. This is the point. It will be eye-opening for sure, but you will know where your 24 hours are going when you get done.
Ways to track your time iventory
There are many ways that you can use to track your time inventory, but there are a few of my favorites that allow you to see just what you are accomplishing.
You did it, now what?
Now you evaluate. Take some time to really look through what you accomplished for the day, or if you were brave and tried it for a week, what did you notice? What things popped out at you as time-wasters, or time-sucks? Were you able to notice your family time, your personal time, time you worked on a business or a hobby? Were you able to find time to relax, or was your day go, go, go from the moment you woke up? Is there a place for any flexibility? Are you aware of where you might be losing productivity? Are there times when you were content and at ease, less stressed and felt relaxed?
When you spend time evaluating and learning from what you did, you can be better prepared for creating a routine or a schedule that works for your needs. Next, no one is going to see your time inventory but you. You don’t have to turn it in, you don’t have to give it to your buddy, there is no evaluation from anyone but you. SO BE TRUTHFUL with yourself about what you are really spending your time on during the day.
If you are working through your time inventory and you realize that you work pretty dang hard through a certain time of the day, note it, and keep that in mind when you get ready to think about routines, time blocking, and scheduling around other activities during the day. Once you learn to recognize the patterns of activity you can either adjust to curb distractions or schedule your day in such a way that you will get the most productivity and value out of the 24 hours that you are given.