I’ve been using time tracking for some time now. Besides the benefits I wrote before, I can also see the patterns of my time usage. From these patterns there are some insights I get on how to better use my time. I hope they can also be useful for you.
Here they are:
- Reduce your idle time
It may seem obvious, but this truly is your first target. One of the quote in 66 Best Quotes for Time Management is “determine never to be idle”. If you always find yourself working then your productivity will surely increase. Of course, you still need time to take a break here and there, but make sure not to take more time than it should be.
- Don’t sleep more than you need
Sleeping too long reduces your working time in a day. If you sleep 7 hours while you can actually sleep enough with 6 hours, you waste one precious hour each day. In one week, that will be 7 hours (can be more if you sleep longer in the weekend!). Imagine what you can do with that 7 hours! You can read new books, watch inspiring videos, or build your own business, all by not oversleeping.
- Improve the quality of your traveling time
Traveling time is one of the biggest time consumers. In my case, it can be up to 3 hours a day. Since there is nothing I can do about it (I have no choice but to travel, right?), the best thing I can do is increasing the quality of such time. I tried audio learning, but often it’s too noisy that I couldn’t listen to my podcasts comfortably. So now I use it mainly for readings. Depending on your situation, you can improve the quality of such time by either reading or audio learning.
- Think before clicking those Digg items
Browsing is one of the “black hole” in time spending. Before you realize it, you may have spent hours in browsing while generating very little value.
If you go to Digg for example, there are so many interesting stories there. It’s easy to be curious and follow those stories. Before you know it, you already spend one hour. Is that one hour well-spent? Well, most likely… no. Just think, how many useful ideas do you get from it? Not much, I’m sure. By useful here I mean something that can greatly impact the way you work or live. Most of those stories are just interesting but don’t do much more. You can get much more useful ideas by doing something else like reading books.
The same rule applies to all kind of browsing. Simply think before clicking those links.