One of the exercises I give my clients for them is to write out how they spent every half hour of time over 7 days in their favourite notebook. The purpose of the exercise is not to shame them but to make them realise where they spend their valuable time. Often they are shocked by how much time they are wasting and this feeling can be great fuel for change and it also a great way to treat yourself to gorgeous stationery. So it is a win win situation.
People keep talking about money and of course money is important but it comes and goes. However, you can never retrieve time. I have a big disclaimer here: sleeping, rest, naps and lazing around should never ever be considered a waste of time. In fact, research shows that “laziness” helps your brain come up with its best ideas and increases your productivity significantly. I think the pursuit of using every second of the day "productively" is a fool's errand - we need balance.
But we can use our time more wisely and not waste it in the following ways:
1. Toxic people and this include close friends and family members
2. Trying to be a psychic and trying to figure out what someone is thinking about you. The only thing we all possess is our mind. Thankfully no one can penetrate yours so be grateful about that. Imagine if your boss could find out what you truly thought about them!
3. Never-ending admin tasks. Of course, we all have important admin we need to tackle but we cannot allow ourselves to fall into the trap of spending our days doing our admin tasks and neglect the important work that will get you closer to our goals.
4. Checking your emails every five minutes. You should check your emails twice a day. Allocate a slot in the morning and one in the afternoon and schedule it into your calendar. Each time you check your email it takes almost 30 minutes to refocus on a task! I will let you do the maths if you spent the day checking your emails.
5. Social media. If your job entails spending time on social media then this might not apply to you but for the rest reduce the time you spend on social platforms if you want to get anything done. A tip I give my clients when they have to complete a big project is to delete Instagram or Facebook from their phone or lock it away entirely. You will notice how much calmer your mind feels.
What do you need to do the weekly time log?
1. A notebook and a pen
2. Write down everything, even the time you spent in your shower for, 7 days.
3. Discipline! This is the toughest one but nothing worthwhile was easy. Try setting a beeper every hour and quickly jotting down how it was spent.
You will then be able to clearly see where you should make changes.