The following technique is extremely easy and simple to use, but many people never do it. They might be too busy to stop and find out what really takes their time.
Step 1 – track your actions
Make a list of everything you do at work – from chatting with co-workers to calling mom. Dot down every action: reading emails, attending meetings, actual work, lunch breaks etc. Use pen and paper, cell phone, or computer software to do this for one week’s period. It’s important to be accurate, not to guess how long you were at coffee break or reading design document. Write down actual times.
Step 2 – check your records
In case you’ve never done this system before, I’m quite sure you’ll find interesting results. You might be quite surprised to see how long your phone calls, blog reading, emails actually take your time. Spot the unimportant actions or tasks that take more time they should.
Step 3 – choose your actions
Tracking is the first step, and checking is the second step to realize what’s going on. Making proper adjustments is the most important step. If you’ve read this far, thought “this 3-step technique sounds quite interesting” but don’t take action, then you’ve just found another way to spend your time on something useless.
Stop fooling yourself.
Take action. If you track your time (even one day can be good, if you don’t want to do this for a whhole week) and make proper adjustments – like delegate some of your work or cut down unnecessary phone calls – you’ve just helped yourself to be more productive.