Time Audit; are you using your time at work effectively?

I have discussed in the past the importance of managing your time and one of the things I have heard people say is “Time went by fast and I didn’t have time to finish everything that was on my To-Do list today”.  One thing that I know for sure is that time does not go quickly or slowly; now I am not a Physicist but I know one thing for certain and that is the passage of time is constant; the universe is not out to get you, it doesn’t speed time up just to screw your day up.  The passage of time is the same as it has always been and always will be.

Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time” is to say “I don’t want to.”

LAO TZU

As business men and women it is not uncommon for us to audit various parts of our business, whether that be an accounting audit, a marketing audit, a personnel audit; we do these things to get a better grasp and understanding of what is going on in these various areas.  We analyze these things to understand what is working well and what is not.  In an accounting audit we analyze the data to see where we are spending unnecessary funds and where our money is going, in marketing we look to see where we are spending the most marketing dollars and to determine what is effective and what is not.  We use this information much of the time to trim the fat and concentrate our efforts and money where it is most effective; a time audit is not any different.

So how exactly do you conduct a time audit?  Well in this world of incredible technology most of us have the only resource we really need in our pocket; our cell phone.  Just about every cell phone today has some type of timer built into it, and if not you can easily download a stop watch app on both Droids and the iPhone at no cost.  Each time you start a task start the timer, when you are finished with each task stop the timer and notate how long you were at it.  Do this for a couple of days, and at the end take a look and see where you are using your time. Like any traditional audit you look at the areas where you are spending most of your time to determine if this is an effective use of your time; and you look at the areas where you are spending the least amount of time to determine if more time should be spend in those areas.  You may be surprised at the results and discover that while you are busy all day long that you may be busy doing the wrong things.  If like most business people you believe that time is money than doing a time audit may allow you to allocate more time to do those things that are important and cut back on those that are not.