Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Regularly Perform a Time Audit for Optimum Output

Productivity is efficiently working at effectively achieving desired results, and there are so many thoughts about how to best boost productivity. People often refer to work-life balance as a viable option; yet, in thinking about "balance", I see a seesaw, forcing a perception of costs needed for success. I don't believe my work competes with my life, seeing how they regularly complement each other instead. Further, although balance would be static, life is certainly not and requires fluid solutions to address one's ever-changing priorities for the various layers of work, home, community or society and the private realm of mind, body and spirit, known as work-life integration.

As Stephen R. Covey explains, "The sum is greater than the parts... When it comes to organizing your life, nothing happens in isolation. As you take an active role in planning your days, weeks and months, the choices you make influence each aspect of your life, multiplying and amplifying your results". It is when all elements of life work in harmony that we are more effective in attaining our goals; the return on time invested in one element can enhance results experienced from investing time elsewhere, like how skills garnered from leading a volunteer committee can transfer to running a household more efficiently or parenting teenage children.

Whereas operating with harmony between how we invest our time and what matters most amplifies success, misalignment between one's actions and one's goals, priorities or values causes burnout. Achieving this necessary alignment gets complicated as our priorities fluctuate daily, weekly, monthly... Some days will need a greater investment of time in work while others should focus more on community or home, requiring fluidity to shift between work, home, community or society and the private realm of mind, body and spirit as needed. Without regular reflection, there is often a discrepancy between the way we spend our time and how our time should be invested to achieve what outcomes we most want or need. Encourage harmony while discouraging misalignment by regularly completing a time audit to verify each action is in agreement with what matters most.

A time audit is an assessment that can be done at whatever interval is necessary, making it the best tool for looking at exactly how our time is being used to better understand where our time is going and evaluate whether using any minutes in a different way would more quickly move us toward more efficiently attaining our goals. This can be completed by keeping a log of how each minute is used, whether paper or electronic, and, then, taking time to reflect upon what the log says regarding how our time is being used and verifying that it's how we'd really like to spend our time, highlighting time wasted versus time invested.

How do you monitor the ways you're investing your time? How often do you examine that investment to make sure your actions align with your goals, priorities and values? How will you utilize a time audit to amplify your success?

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