Imagine you hit rock bottom and decide, you can’t keep going like this and you need help. So you hire an accountability or productivity coach. You tell them you are struggling to find time to do the things that are important to you? That you are overwhelmed and feel like you always behind and drowning in the day-to-day tasks. (Did I mention I’m a mom of two, with a career and a side hustle? I get you, girl!)
The first thing a coach would ask is “What is your schedule like? Where do you spend your time now? How much time do you spend doing this or that?“
Would you be able to answer them? I thought I could, but I was wrong.
My advice to anyone who tells me they are struggling with productivity is to track their time for at least a full 7 days! You need to know where you are to create a plan to get you where you need to go! For me tracking my time, really helped put that picture together.
So I came up with my uniquely designed BTA Daily Time Tracker, which ended up increasing my productivity.
After I came up with my time tracker and successfully tracked my time for a full 7 days, I realized I learned so much just from the process. AND I actually became more productive just doing the practice. So I put those 6 tips together, so you can see what you might gain from tracking your time for a week too!
6 Tips I Learned from Tracking my Time
Sidenote: If you’re impatient like me you can click here to get the tracker now. BUT you are still going to want to read below to what I learned from tracking my time. Here is a picture of what my perfectly designed tracker looks like. =)
1. I am Competitive (even with Myself)
Okay, I already knew that, but something about writing it down made me want to DO MORE so I could write more down. Not even that I was going to show anyone but the thought of being like “yeah, I did all that today”, was motivating! I was trying to show off to myself that I could do more. This drive is probably not something that can be sustained for more than a week. but it certainly helped during the week. I would think, I still have 12 minutes left in the block, I bet I can put the dishes away and see if I can squeeze it in that block too! ( This might just apply to me, but let me know if you try it and feel the same way.)
2. I Lose so Much Time
We all have black holes of time. We can’t recall exactly where all the time goes, but during this tracking period, I calculated that I snooze for about 30 minutes in the morning and I lay in bed trying to fall asleep for about an hour every night, usually reading on my phone. When I added up the time, it was approximately 10.5 hours! That is 10.5 hours, in limbo, not quite asleep and not quite awake. This is a huge loss for me. With 10.5 extra hours a week. I could do so much. This is not the only transition hole I fall into. Finding these problems is the first step. Now, I can create a plan to fix them!
3. Helped my Memory
Something about writing things down triggers your memory. I don’t know about you but my memory never quite recovered after my second kid the baby brain never went away. Seriously, it’s so bad. In the evenings I can’t remember what we had for dinner.
A couple of weeks ago I glanced at my clock at 7:15 and said, “Alright, it’s time to put Cole (our baby) down.” My husband was in the kitchen behind me and asked, “What did you say?” And I instantly remembered – I (Yes me), I gave him a bottle and rocked him to sleep, only 30 minutes prior. I was just so into whatever I was listening to that I completely forgot!
Writing things down on my daily time tracker, I realized that not only did I remember things better, but someday I will have something to look back on someday!
4. Helped me Focus
I discovered that I was significantly more focused on the right tasks because I could see my plan right in front of me laying on my kitchen island. So when I felt the urge to get on Instagram, I would think, I have something scheduled right now, let me see Oh yea I should be doing this right now. This was so powerful, for me. When I would finish writing my time, I would see the next couple boxes and be reminded of exactly what I wanted to do during that time.
5. My Time Budget had Holes
As I went through tracking my time, I noticed my expectations for certain time slots were skewed. For example, I planned for an hour bedtime routine between the 2 kids because it certainly feels that way, but really I have 15 mins of quality time with my oldest, in between their routines. That is certainly time I take for granted but should be counted as time with my son, not as a chore. Seeing this allowed me to change my perspective on how much time I really have. My perception of time spent definitely had holes. Updating my plan was an easy fix.
6. Why I couldn’t Stick with my Morning Routine
After tracking my time for a full week, I realized my real problem with my morning routine and why I can’t stick to it! Finally, after 8 years of trying to be a morning person, I really figured it out and it is mind-blowing. You will have to come back next week to see what I changed to solve my morning routine dilemma. I will need a full post for this! For now, I will tell you I learned that my morning routine problem had nothing to do with my morning routine!
Are you curious where your time goes, and just how good you are at predicting your time usage on a weekly basis? I challenge you to track your time for a week and see what you learn! It will be fun, ask a friend or spouse to do it with you. =) This time tracker will teach you so much about how you are spending your time.
Even with the added motivation from using this uniquely designed time tracker and accomplishing more than average, I learned I still had so much downtime that needed to be assessed.
Does this sound like you? If do you want to have more time but don’t know where to start or how to fix your schedule. THIS Tracker is a great way to get started! Even if you don’t use my tracker (which is FREE, so at least worth a shot) ?♀️ come up with some way to track your time for 7 days! Tracking my time helped me find holes and I know it will help you too.
Give it a try and let me know in the comments or tag me with your template on Instagram @LetsDoLattes. I am curious to see if you learn something.
On a side note, I have created an amazing excel template that not only tracks your time, but calculates how much time you are spending on different areas of life. It also identifies problems, where you are getting distracted. It is a little complex, so I am putting together a video workshop to help walk you through it. If this is something that interests you. Sign-up here to be part of my email list because they will be the first to know when I am looking for beta participants!
As always, keep thriving!