Leading up to the new year, I’m doing some journaling and planning for 2018 for positive self-development and change.
This week is about getting down to the details and doing a time audit.
This is something I have done many times over, because our habits and schedules change constantly and it’s very helpful to stop and audit our time usage every now and again. It’s a way to keep ourselves in check.
Think of why companies do inventory. It’s the realistic snapshot of what they’ve got in the warehouse. When it comes to our personal achievements, a time audit helps us to see what is factually taking up our days. This will help us take stock of what is actually going on and where we can improve.
The amazing thing about this time audit exercise is how often there is misalignment, of what we spend our time on and what we think our priorities are.
The worksheet is quite simple. The idea is to write a list of your top priorities in life. You can be general and list things like family, work, exercise, volunteer work – or get more detailed. It’s up to you what elements you want to focus on.
The important part is to block out those categories onto the timeline of 24 hours – a typical or average day.
Now the interesting step is to analyze the data. You get to see on paper how you are spending your time and if it aligns with your priorities. Are there gaps where you are spending time on non-priorities? Or are you spending more or less time on certain priority items?
If family is the most important thing to you, are you spending most of your time on family?
I realize that sometimes time and priority cannot correlate exactly. If you work an 8 hour day, it leaves less time for other aspects of life if you are going to get any sleep at all… so take what you can from this exercise without beating yourself up on the realities of life.
Instead focus on whatever time is left and how you spend that time, if you have certain non-negotiable time constraints.
It’s not an exact science, but this time audit will give you a good picture of what your actions show are your priorities, versus what you think are your priorities.
With this information on hand, think about what has to change or shift. You can always move closer to what you consider your ideal day.
Download the worksheet in your preferred paper size below and audit away.
If you like this printable be sure to check out the previous printable about challenges here >>