hourglassThe truth for every person on this planet is that we have a limited amount of time here. We have only a certain (unknown to us) amount of years, months, weeks, days, and minutes.


So how do you spend those precious minutes? When you get home in the evening, do you spend your time glued to the TV? What are you gaining from that? I’m not saying that watching TV is a bad thing, and there are several shows I enjoy. But it is important to realize that it is eating away at your share of time, and that there may be other things you could or should be doing instead to maximize your time.


It’s not just your time after work either. We’re actually talking about all of your time in a day, even those sleeping hours. Should you be going to bed earlier to get more sleep so you can function better during the day? Or are you spending a little too long sleeping in and missing out on time where you could take a walk in the morning and get in shape?


The key to maximizing the use of your time is to know how you are spending it. Once you know this, then you can decide whether there are things eating up your time that you can cut out or if you need to make time for things you are missing out on.


Want to know how to track your time? Here’s an idea to get you going:


1. Get out a good old-fashioned kitchen timer. Or, if you have a Smartphone, you can find a timer app that rings at set intervals.


2. Depending on what time you are tracking, either pull out a notebook specifically for your time tracking or make a spreadsheet. I tend to use a Google docs spreadsheet so I can keep track of time both at the office and at home on the same sheet. Typing is faster for me, although it means I have to be at the computer to record things. If your day involves being in several places, or if you are not near the computer and it would take a lot of time to open it up, you’d be better off with a good old pen and paper.


3. Set your timer for a specific interval, and at the end record what you just did. Depending on what and why you are tracking, you may want to try different intervals. But 10 minutes is a good place to start because it is not so long that you forgot what you did during the whole time, and if you get in the habit of it, it helps you see exactly how you are spending the little bits of time that add up to your day. So start with 10 minutes. If it is too short and you feel like all you are doing is writing down what you just did, try expanding the interval. But you will have to be careful to remember just what happened (like if you get interrupted with a phone call or have to take care of another task really quick or have to make a call yourself – all of these things add up).


4. Try this for a few days or even a couple weeks to see where your precious time is spent. Then come back and let us know what you have found and what you are doing to make changes! Did you find ways that you can be more productive or even ways that you can cut out time on tasks that are keeping you from doing what is more important to you? Leave a comment below to let us know.