I have found visual time tracking to be incredibly invaluable in improving my productivity. Visual time tracking can give you an at-a-glance record of how you spent your day. I always felt like the day would slip away with anything getting accomplished. Visual time tracking helped me address that.
When I first starting using a visual time tracker, I kept track of everything I did no matter what it was. I very quickly saw how much time I was wasting. It’s amazing how much time you can actually spend on things like Facebook and YouTube. It also helped me see how much time I was spending on household chores and errands. These things are important but I don’t feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish them, so my brain tends to forget about them when assessing the day, contributing to my feeling like I wasn’t accomplishing anything. Then of course, I also tracked the time I was spending on the things that would help me achieve my goals. I found that I wasn’t spending as much time on them as I should have been. It was easier to make adjustments when I could see it in front of my eyes.
If this is something that you are interested in, I would suggest you pick one and track everything, every minute of your day. Pay close attention to the times of day when you feel most productive. Another interesting option for this step is the Productivity Heatmap. Doing this kills two birds with one stone. You figure out where all of your time is going and you figure out when is the best time during the day to get the most work done.
After you have this figured out, you will have a better idea how to plan. Focus on setting up your day so that you can work on your most important tasks during those productive times. Obviously, that may not always be possible due to whatever schedule you have but it is still worth knowing and trying for.
For me, I have found that my most productive times are from 6-8 pm. and 11 pm-2am. Between 8-11 pm are times that I can be productive, just not as much. I also don’t track everything anymore. Now I use the Spiraldex to track my sleep and to make sure I spend enough time on my Top 3. “Enough time” is relative and can change from day to day but 4-5 hours is a good goal for me. I hope to increase that goal as I break more bad habits.0