Following on from Monday’s post about Time Sinks where we lose time to activities we think will take less time than they actually do.
In order to find your time sinks you need to be able to track the time you’re spending on certain tasks. This way you can find out where you are losing time, or what tasks are taking much longer than anticipated.
I already had a very basic weekly planner (in excel and PDF format) but it was missing some hours of the day, plus it was looking quite dated (well, I did come up with it in 2007!) so I decided to change the formatting slightly and re-work the plan into a daily format and add the missing hours of the day. The outcome is the “FlipTimePlan Daily Planner”.
How To Use The Planner
There are two ways to use the FlipTimePlan: as a “Time Suck” tracker and as a planner to track your daily tasks. Both methods are the pretty much the same, although with the “Time Suck” method you write tasks down as you do them and with the “Daily Planner” method you use the planner to pre-organise your tasks the night before or the morning the plan starts.
There are 3 sections to the FlipTimePlan Daily Planner:
- Date – The date that this plan is for
- Task against time – Write down what you’re doing against each time increment. This is broken down into 15 minute sections which I think that covers most eventualities. I think tracking 15 minute sections is more than adequate, if you try to get any more granular then you run the risk of taking more time filling in the sheet than you do actually doing stuff!
- Notes – Anything special you’d like to note about todays tasks. Perhaps something over-ran for a reason, or there was a massive delay on the trains that put all of your timings out. You can also note down what needs to be done tomorrow here as well.