Why Logging Makes You Successful
In today’s business world, we hear a lot about flexible schedules, results oriented work environments, and organizations allowing employees to be more fluid and trusted with their time than ever before. But despite the buzz around this topic, much of America still works on rigid schedules, ones that require clocking in and clocking out for lunch breaks, and with paychecks depending on exact hours and minutes spent at work. It’s easy for us to sit in our offices and forget about the “blue collar” workers who adhere to these rules. But the truth of the matter is, many high paying careers do the same. In law and CPA offices all over the world, there are various systems of tracking time. I’ve heard of computer programs that count the number of minutes it takes to write an email, the number of phone calls you make and to whom each day, and much much more.
I tell you about these two extremes because they have something very specific in common – the expectation of logging time. No, not logging like the lumberjacks do, but logging in the sense that employees are expected to have very specific quantification of the way they spend their time. One of my favorite time efficiency experts Laura Vanderkam recently talked about this kind of logging in an article for CBS Moneywatch called “What Effective People Measure.” Her point?
Whenever people ask me for time management advice, my first tip is to try keeping a time log. A week has 168 hours, but I’m guessing you have no idea how you’re spending many of them. I certainly don’t. Keeping track helps us know where those hours go.
Laura even has a handy time tracking spreadsheet available on her website for download. It’s important to know where you’re spending your time, what you’re doing, and most importantly, where you can eliminate waste in your time. Take time, if even for a few days, to log your time and find out where you can be more mindful, more efficient, and ultimately more successful with your time.