Try this exercise for the next 7 days. I want you to evaluate how you function on a day-to-day basis. Keep a small notebook with the day and date. If you have ever kept a food or exercise journal, this will be easy and it will only be for 7 days. Below is a list of things I want you to keep track of during this time.
As soon as you log onto any social media outlet, I want you to jot down your beginning time and your end time. Note which social media outlets you visited and jot the time next to it.
LOG YOUR TIME SPENT RUNNING ERRANDS
Whether it is food or clothes shopping, taking the kids to their activities or running out for some necessities, jot it down. Jot down where you went, which part of the state you were in and length of time.
EVALUATE YOUR EMAIL PROCESS.
At work and at home, sometimes it’s easier to pick up the phone and call somebody. Have you ever sent an email back and forth so many times you wished you had picked up the phone? Sometimes emails get misinterpreted and more emails have to be sent to clarify what was said. If you have to send an email this week, stop to think if calling would be a better option. Jot down how many emails you received that ended up getting unnecessarily bounced back and forth.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET DISTRACTED?
Do you lose focus easily? How many unfinished projects do you have lying around your home or at work? Jot down how many times you get distracted and get sidetracked from the task at hand. If you have a task you need to complete, set a time limit. You’ll be more aware of time when you set limits. This will also help you limit distractions because you know you have a task to complete and a time frame to complete it.
ARE YOU ORGANIZED?
Check your surroundings during this exercise. Do you find that your surroundings are disorganized and chaotic? You won’t be able to become more efficient and productive if you aren’t working in an organized environment.
During this exercise, jot down how many times you have to go look for an item you need and how much time is wasted searching for it. During this exercise you will see where you have spare time and how you are using it. It will be an eye opener to see how you are really spending your time.
At the end of this exercise, take a minute to evaluate what took place during the 7 days. Do you think you may have wasted precious time? Have you noticed that you don’t have any structure during
the week? You’ll be able to manage your time better if you plan and prepare your week ahead.
Evaluate where you are wasting time and where you can be more productive.
by Kristin MacRae
Organizing in RI