A time management log keeps you focused on improving business processes and productivity; learning time management skills is profitable for your small business. What is a time management definition?
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Keeping an activity log is one of the quickest ways to isolate the areas where time is being wasted, and figure out how you can become more efficient.
A time log is not something you do on a daily basis.
Rather, you log your time for a day or two, once every few months, to check how efficient you are.
Logging may feel like it actually slows you down while you're doing it, but the time it saves you in the long run provides value to you and your business.
And that's the real benefit of managing your time wisely: you can become more efficient and productive by tracking, measuring, analyzing, and improving where you spend time and where you can save time.
Time Management Definition
Before discussing the ins and outs of time logging, it's important to understand a time management definition. Managing time is about using methods and techniques to ensure you are as efficient and productive as possible; moving you towards your ultimate goals.
It's achieved primarily by eliminating distractions, focusing on the most important activities first (instead of last), and finding ways to make your current work efforts more efficient (for example, by using new tools or techniques).
The Process of Logging Your Time
The key to making time logging effective is attention to detail. You need to be as specific as possible – every time you stop or start doing anything, make an entry in your time log. If you catch yourself daydreaming, that goes in your time log.
You want to get the most complete picture of how you're using your time as you possibly can, and the only way to do that is to write it all down.
Formatting the log book is fairly simple. All you need is some lined paper – no fancy sheets are required, although you can download and print a sheet for this purpose if you find it helps you.
You can also use a planner during the day and then transfer the data to an online spreadsheet to help you sort your activities and time spent on each.
Write down or, if online, enter the time you begin each activity, and the time you finish. It can help to write the actual amount of time used (eg. "15 minutes") beside each entry so you can then total up the time easily at the end of the day.
Use a Time Management Log to Help You Analyze Where You Spend Your Time
Your data collection is not much use on its own if you don’t know how to analyze it and make changes based on what you see. Categorize your use of time and compare it against your goals.
There are many ways to compare but, as an example, divide your time into short term, mid term and long term work goals – where are you spending the most time? Will you be able to achieve your goals and objectives with this distribution of time?
Managing your time wisely is of significant importance for all business owners and managers. You need to make the most effective use of your most important resources. Use tools such as a time management log or journal to improve your productivity and effectiveness.
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