Time is the one thing you can’t make more of and the one thing none of us can ever seem to get enough of.
A friend recently joked that getting older is an increasing reduction in your “free” time and while that may be a bit dramatic I can’t completely disagree.
One thing that almost all of us would like to do is get more done in less time.
In working with busy professionals in our coaching practice this is something that comes up again and again.
Recently one of our clients came to me feeling overwhelmed and unable to find enough time in her day to get done all the things she needed to.
In order to help I took her through the first step in the process of getting more done in less time which is a time Audit.
Keep reading to see how I helped her get 100% clear on how to reach her goal…
Before I share how was started to take back this client’s time, it’s important to define three words that get thrown around a lot.
Busy – using up all your time
Efficient – Improving your ability to get more done in less time
Effective – Getting the right things done with less time and effort.
Most people are busy, some work on being efficient while a select few are focused on being effective.
My goal is to coach people to be effective meaning they have to put in the minimal amount of effort to get the right things done that moves them closer to their goals.
Anyone can be busy and you can be efficient at any task, but being effective is about knowing which tasks are actually worth your time.
The process of identifying what that is begins with a time audit.
Money as time is a good metaphor because budgeting can help leverage both.
If you are in debt the first thing you need to do is find out where your money is going.
And if you feel like you’re busy all the time the first thing you need to do is figure out how you’re spending your time.
This can be accomplished with a time audit.
To begin create a document like this separating an entire week into 15 or 30 minute intervals.
Print it out and keep it with you through your day.
Whenever you switch from one activity to the next make sure to record what you have been doing and for how long.
Nothing is too mundane to include.
That means commuting, eating, scrolling through instagram, picking up after your self and anything in between get’s on the sheet.
The point is to be brutally honest with how you are spending you time.
Once you have filled out the sheet completely after a week, sit down and come up with categories for the most common activities.
Here are some examples:
- Family / friends time
- Self care / personal health
- Distraction / entertainment
- Personal development
Once you have come up with your categories, go through your sheet and identify how much time you are spending on each during the week.
Then list the categories in order from least to most time alongside the corresponding minutes you spent on that category during the week.
Then divide the number of minutes spent on a given category by 10,080 (The number of minutes in a week) to find the percentage of time in the week you spend on that activity.
Sleep and work are most likely taking up the bulk of time in your week which should be expected.
But you might be surprised to find the other activities that are taking up much of your time.
Now go back through your list and examine how much of your week as a percentage of total time you are spending on things that are moving you closer to your goal.
If you are like most people I’m confident you will find a few trends.
First that there are several hours in your week you could immediately be devoting towards work on long terms goals.
And second that we spend a lot of our lives doing things that serve others and not ourselves.
From this perspective it’s understandable that you can feel burned out and overworked and no closer to your goals.
So what do you do now?
Now that you’ve identified how you’re spending your time it’s time to start organizing your schedule so that your time invested starts building momentum towards your goals, not someone else.
For help with building this schedule book a strategy session with one of our master coaches.
During this session a coach will help you identify the 3 key moves you can make to better leverage your time and start moving towards you goals today.
Book your session here 👉 Session
Time is your most valuable resource, don’t waste even a single moment of it!
If you’ve got question’s about our process, I’d love the opportunity to answer them.
Make sure to send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll get back to you.
At your service!
Brandon and the Virtuo team