UPDATE: (19/02/2008) I have updated the Time Management Log PDF to include an extra page with blank time sections for use outside normal working hours.
UPDATE: (06/03/2008) I have added another document to download, this time a worksheet to help focus on achieving your ultimate goal.
Time management is something that many of us find tricky as we often allow ourselves to be distracted by the trivial and unimportant.
Good planning can alleviate many issues but it quite often it is not clear what these time wasters are until you carry out a time use analysis of a day or days to see how you spend your time.
It is better to carry out a review over a week to allow for any variance in workload depending on projects and business priorities.
To help you carry out this review I have added a downloadable PDF file for you to try so you can look at how you spend your days.
You have to put in the 3 letter code to the right of the Megaupload title and press the download button to download the file. It’s not a particularly clear site I’ll admit but it does work.
The time log file allows you to split up a normal working day (0800-1800) into 15 minute periods so that you can track how you spend your time. Each 15 minutes has been given two lines so you can even break that down that period into smaller time chunks.
You can write in the day of the week and the actual date at the top and then file it for future reference once completed. The idea for this being is that you should repeat a review process periodically to see if your changes are working.
On the left hand side there is a column for diary reminders which are purely memory joggers. Next to that is the space for actual tasks or activities during that time period.
In the central section there is a column for smileys so you can see at a glance how your day has gone. If you pick up that mornings are going badly you can take action into changing what happens at those times.
On the right hand side there is a section specifically for phone calls with space for comments on the subject matter and whether it was inward or outward. These are important because you will be able to see the number of calls you receive which are sales related, which actually are useful and which are total time wasters.
Also included on the form is an additional notes section to cover any other issues that may present themselves at various times of the day. All this will make it easier to see how your day is spent and will make subsequent planning easier.
For a more light-hearted (but still useful) look at time management, take a look at my No Time for Time Management post.