Get Back Lost Hours In Your Day By Analyzing and Organizing Your Time Spent with a Time Audit
At the end of the day do you ever think to yourself; what the hell did I even do today? You are looking around…the mess you cleaned up at least 3 times is back. There are multiple laundry baskets overflowing onto the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, and lets not even get started on the work and errands that also needed to get done. With frustration, you probably think to yourself, “I wish there was another one of me” or, “I just need more hours in my day”!
Not Enough Time
It is safe to say, we all feel this way. There really isn’t enough time for all the things we believe we SHOULD be doing. You know what I am talking about. “Should” have a dust free home, all your meals prepped for the week, all the laundry perfectly folded and put away. Not only that, but you also feel pressure to devote 30 minutes to daily exercise, a morning meditation routine, teaching your kids another language that you don’t even know…, etc… We let our minds go crazy thinking of all the unimportant tasks and to-do’s. Wasted time goes to worry, stress, and overwhelm that these “shoulds” bring.
Tough love alert. I bet you have a lot of excuses as to why you can’t get the important things done. Can you really not fit in 30 minutes of exercise? Or do I dare say it is not a priority? How much time do you spend scrolling on your phone, watching tv, or getting distracted by less important tasks? This is actually something I struggle with everyday. When I feel overwhelmed I scroll on my phone or organize areas of the home that really don’t need to be cleaned. While I truly believe self-care is important (for me self-care is mind numbing scrolling and organizing); there is a time and a place and it cannot take over your entire day.
Here is the first step to eliminate wasted time:
Brain Dump Your Daily To-Do’s
Not only is a brain dump an excellent way to start a time audit; it is a wonderful activity to do daily to help reduce anxiety and overwhelm. In this case, we will use a brain dump to list out everything you *think* needs to be done.
Write Out Everything That Needs To Get Done
Write down EVERYTHING that is on your mental to-do list. Laundry, dishes, mopping, taking out the trash, getting the mail, meal ideas, groceries, that doctor appointment you need to make, those shoes you wanted to shop for, that hobby you wanted to start, the workout routine you need to actually plan, and so on…
The goal is to get it out of your head and on to paper.
What Are Things You Actually Want To Do?
Now, list out all the things you want to do. Do you want to do a face mask once a week? Relax on the couch for 30 minutes a day? Finally become consistent with your exercise routine? Write it all out! This is a great time to get creative and put yourself first. Anything can go on this list!
This is where it gets fun. Time blocking your week will show you exactly what you have time for. I like to time block in 30 minute increments, and on occasion I will add in 15 minute blocks depending on my needs. There are so many ways you can start your initial time block. I like to review my list that I made above, and start assigning tasks to a time block on a week chart I made on scratch paper.
Your time audit should be messy. There will be scribbles and many edits. I like to do it on paper because the physical act of writing is soothing for me. Then, I like to transfer it over to a Word document chart or an Excel spreadsheet for a more permanent, formal time blocking worksheet.
Remember, this is a framework for your days/weeks. It is meant to be changed. You may be going through your week and realize it takes you double the time to do laundry than you originally thought, which will require adjustments. Just roll with it! The goal is not to become rigid in our routines, but to find time to get organized and complete tasks that need to be done on an ongoing basis while allowing time for relaxation, family, and fun!
Final Thoughts on Creating a Time Audit to Organize Your Schedule
We all can agree we need more hours in our day. Our days are jam packed and overwhelming.
When you feel like you have a million things to do, the most important thing you can do to fix this is conduct a time audit. Generally, a lot of time is spent wasted on tv, our phones, etc… I am not saying we stop doing this, but rather know exactly where we are spending our time and adjust accordingly to our own personal goals and priorities. By doing a time audit, you are allowing knowledge to be power.
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