I have often said time management is not about managing time it is about managing yourself. Being aware of how you use time, what habits you have, what are your good times, what you avoid etc. The trouble is it is very easy to deceive yourself about how you spend your time. How many evenings have you spent “all night” on homework, when really you managed to call some friends, think about your next shopping spree, plan a party, or just day dream?
One thing I advise everyone to do is to regularly carry out an audit of exactly where you spent your time. There are many ways to do this. But I like to use a standard format so that you can look back and see how it has changed over time.
Log your time, down to 5 minute slots for a day. Choose a typical day or do it for a few days if your days vary a lot.
You can use this worksheet as a guide.
Next do some analysis. Look at how you spent your time. Did you achieve what you wanted to that day? Did you spend your time in the most effective areas? How much of your time was planned and how much was reactive? How well did you spend your time?
Take some learning points and make changes if necessary. Just by doing this exercise it make you much more aware of time and how you spend it. You will find that your behaviors change without even realizing.
Do the audit again in a month and compare the results.
I bet things have improved!