If you have never tracked your time before, you might be surprised to know that tracking time is a crucial thing that the most productive people do.
It is hard to know whether you are using your time efficiently or not! It may seem that you are working hard, but do you really spend your time doing the right things?
Tracking time can help you get a perspective on your life to determine whether the way you spend your time is right to your priorities. However, how it works, what you will learn from, and why you should do it? Let us dive into these questions and discover how tracking time affects our lives.
Why You Should Track Your Time
While there are countless benefits to tracking time, these benefits are my favorites!
- See how many hours you actually work—while you often tend to overestimate how many hours you work, the time log gives you a true look at the time we spent on work and other activities.
- Discover your actual priorities—investing time in what you consider important should be reflected in your time logs. As tracking time shows you how many hours you spend on deeply value things and how many you spend on tasks that are convenient and easy to do.
- Your time looks more abundant —keeping your eye on the time log lets you more aware of where you are throwing your time. So you become more organized and less wasteful of the time. Consequently, you become more productive and time feels richer.
- A healthier life—some tracking apps can monitor your eating and how much your body burns calories by sensing body movements in addition to alerting you to allocate more time to exercise for better health.
How to Track Your Time
It is easy enough to track your time. You only have to record every single activity you do in your day. Most of us maybe prefer to use their smartphones, so using apps like Boosted, Hub staff, or Toggle should do the trick. Then whether you use a notebook, mobile app or any other tool to track time, you need to review and analyze the recorded data every week.
7 Things I have learned from Tracking My Time
By keeping an eye on your time, you will get important details about you, which you can learn from to, make your coming days more successful. Beyond that, here are the most important seven lessons I learned from tracking my time:
It always takes less time than you think it does
My timesheet for Sunday records that I did a list of tasks I think they would take at least an hour, in only 30 minutes; from 8:00-8:30. These tasks include putting daughter to bed, telling son a bedtime story, washing dinner dishes, and other things. The surprising thing is that, before tracking my time, I used to think that only putting my daughter to bed takes 30 minutes! However, I got a lot accomplished, and the most important thing, without being rushed.
I have more free time than I think
At the beginning of the week, while ranking of priorities, I look at all those empty cells. I am aware that many of them will be reserved for obligations that are out of my control, but, at the same time, many of them will also be all up to me to use for the things I truly want to do. Knowing what I am willing to accomplish is important to use my free time in a way that brings joy to me.
I fancy myself with unrealistic thoughts
Saying, "I don't watch TV" when asked how I manage to be an avid reader makes me falsely feel prideful. However, the fact is, according to my time tracking app, that I watch TV every single day, even when I am doing something else like eating or scrolling on my phone! Although I am sure that if I totally quit watching TV, I will be able to double my readings, such a shift is miles away from being made as my story is merely a lie, and I cannot stand watching TV.
Life has ups and downs
I never expect that each day of your life will go perfectly. However, enough things go as planned on enough days of the week are enough to cheer me up and make me psychologically stable. For example, if I miss my workout one morning, I find myself taking a walk that afternoon to burn off extra energy. If I have insomnia for a couple of nights in a row, I try to get more sleep later by going to bed early or waking up late on another day. It is this simple! Listen to your body’s needs, and believe that this will bring a natural balance to your life.
Things I spend my time in reveals my true priorities
My values are reflected in the way I spend my time. For example, my family grabs the most attention of mine, as my timesheet shows that I spend a lot of time connecting with my husband, caring for my children, which means that I put my family first. This is not the only thing. I take care of myself too: I get enough sleep, I work out, and I read. It is just satisfying to see your interests through the way you spend time.
Weekly habits are good enough
I strongly believe inhabits. Having a specific routine helps reduce stress and maintain my health. However, in a busy life, sometimes habits cannot be daily. It’s enough for me to keep doing something like meditation or abstaining sugar most days of the week, even if it is not every day.
Even an unproductive day has some productivity
Sometimes I have a bad mood, which results in a completely bad day; no workout, no healthy food, and no productivity. Even though I have no energy on such days to push myself to do anything at all, I still manage to prepare meals for my kids, do the laundry, play with my son, and work. If they had not actually been written down, I never would have awarded myself for doing those things. Influenced by my dark mood, my mind would have told that I had wasted the entire day.
Tracking time has added great value to my life. Thanks for it, I feel more flexible with my time. Time tracking is recommended, but you do not have to do it for a long period. If you are interested, just go for it. Even one week will change your approach to life.