The Time Log


One of the standard recommendations of the original time-management experts was to keep a time log for a few days: just divide a sheet of paper into quarter hours, and fill it in as honestly as possible.

The great thing is, nobody gets to see it except you - so you can really dish the dirt on yourself!

I kept a log yesterday and today – it only took a few seconds to fill in every quarter of an hour. To say that the results were an eye-opener would be a MAJOR understatement.

It’s probably the very best way to find out if you are “being busy” instead of getting you important stuff done.

What really hit home is that my recollection of how the day went, combined with the fact that I managed to feel busy all day, left me feeling quite good at closing time.

But the mind plays terrible tricks – if you try to guess how your day divided up over different areas, it will exaggerate the successes and diminish the failures – but MUCH more than you expect.

Just look at how little time you spend on the stuff you know you really should have spent most time on.

Forget about prioritisation and all that school of thought – deep down you mcdvoice kmspico know there are some things you have got to get advanced or finished on any given day. But then you get yourself “busy”, and gradually but fatally assure yourself that “it’s OK, at least I got something done today, at least I gave service in return for salary”.

What has most knocked me sideways is the difference between my sense that the day wasn’t so bad, and the evidence of my time log.

Try it, even for one day. It will help you to stop hiding from yourself. It will get you out of the denial you didn’t even know you suffered from. It's like having a friendly observer looking over your shoulder all day long. You will find yourself uttering sentences that begin “That’s the LAST time I EVER …” or “From NOW on …”

It’s free, it’s dead simple to do, but the pay off is priceless.

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