It was 6:30 pm on a Monday night and I had nothing prepared for the blog post that was due the next day. No photos, no post, no ideas. Nothing. I had a rehearsal that night where I ended up spending my down time hand-writing a post that I whipped out on the fly.
I wanted to know why I was finding myself in that position of having to scramble at midnight Monday night to write a blog post that needed to be ready for 7:30 Tuesday morning. I wanted to know why, even though I don’t have a full time job right now, I feel like I’m running out of the time necessary to prepare a well thought-out post.
So I took it upon myself to do a time audit for a week. I printed out a chart that divided my day into 15 minute increments for seven days, and throughout the week I have been writing down how I’ve spent each 15 minutes. Here’s what I found out:
TV is my nemesis.
I have a habit of putting on Netflix or some DVDs while I’m cooking and eating lunch. My brain can shut off while I watch a comedy, or I can distract myself for a while from my to-do list with an historical drama (I’m a history nerd). The problem is that that quick TV lunch drags out into a whole hour, and then I’m all relaxed and lazy, and getting back into work mode is a major struggle.
The takeaway: no more TV during meal times. Sigh.
My phone isn’t that great, either.
Ah, social media. So addictive. I use it as a way to wake up in the morning. Three days in a row I woke up, picked up my phone and spent 15 minutes checking my emails and Facebook. That needs to stop. Forever.
The takeaway: don’t let the first thing I do each day be checking my phone. It’s not a great way to wake up (I plan on making this a future wellness challenge – check out the latest one here), and it’s a waste of precious time.
Drive-time is time spent.
Commuting takes time. Especially when you work more than one job.
The takeaway: know that driving takes time, and schedule accordingly.
I’m super inefficient.
I thought I was good at time management. I even started using block scheduling this term to stay on track. I guess I shouldn’t have scheduled so much time for class preparation. I spend hours each week planning classes and choreographing for my dancers, all of which is not paid work (life of a teacher, ya know) and takes up so. much. time.
The takeaway: class planning once a week only, so do it thoroughly, and do it right the first time.
If you’re interested in trying out your own time audit to figure out where the heck the time goes, I’ve taken the liberty of creating a printable version of my chart for you!
And if you don’t need the chart because you are the most productive person ever, tell me your secret!! What are your tips for actually getting work done, or for being more efficient in the way you spend your days?
Enjoy the journey!