It has been said that we live in the age of the microwave oven – we want everything to happen now. The problem that I see in most small businesses is that everything does happen now – the phone rings, an employee has an issue, a customer sends a hot e-mail, and that’s not even mentioning the meeting that is scheduled on your calendar. As a business owner if you’re not careful instead of owning your time, time will own you.
How efficient are you with managing your time? Do you really know? Download and use the Daily Activity Tracking Worksheet to see how you really spend your time. You may be surprised by what you discover. Remember – you cannot improve what you do not measure.
In the Daily Activity Tracking Worksheet, enter all the activities of your upcoming day (not just scheduled meetings or events) and the time you think it will take to accomplish those things. At the end of the day enter any unplanned activities that came up during the day. Use two highlighters to highlight the following: 1) the amount of time things really took and 2) the planned activities that did not get done.
Once you understand how you spend your time and how long it really takes to complete activities, you will be amazed at the opportunities that arise. You will find things you can do to optimize your day and spend your time more efficiently and more effectively.
Please post a comment on what you think of this exercise once you’ve done it for a few days. I hope that this tool can help you make a real difference in how you manage your time.