Daily PlanIt

Chart energy levels with a time log

Many time management resources suggest using a time chart or log as a starting point to see how you are actually using your time as opposed to how you think you are using your time.

Benefits

Overcome resistance with curiosity

I know, right? A time audit kind of sounds like a tedious task. Despite knowing all the benefits, it was hard to get excited about adding this to my list of things to do until I saw this chart with the daily routines of famous creative people from Podio. It sparked my curiosity to see how my daily routine compared. I quickly saw that I was taking too long to get going in the morning, and failing to use my most productive time for important tasks.

So how does your day compare?

Use the Podio Tracker (pdf) to track your time use and compare it to the daily routines of Creative People chart above. This one includes a chronodex to color in from artist Kate Smith.

A Vertical Time Log (pdf) allows 1/2 hour increments

Does the idea of a routine sound boring as well? The most productive people follow a routine to make the most of their time. A flexible routine automates tasks to free attention for more important matters.

More Tools

Another way to look at it is Creative Routines from Infowetrust.com. The Muse provides a form to track your time use in this circular manner.

Here are more tools from others:

Chart Energy Levels

Our high energy time should be used for high priority tasks and projects that require creativity and thought. Notice patterns for physical and mental energy and how it varies throughout the day and week. Use this information when scheduling activities. Another way to look at your energy use is the Energy Level Gauge tool at How Are Your Energy Levels. It is an easy way to see which of twelve life areas need more attention.

Time and energy are limited resources. The opportunity to use today well is good only for 24 hours. Make the most of them!

Additional Reading: Activity Logs at Mind Tools, Time Logging from Right Attitudes,  Understanding Your Personal Energy Cycle by Laura Stack, Productivity Heat Map at Productive Flourishing