Map Your Time

Personal MapYou could say I’m obsessed with time at the moment, and I’m not a little bit obsessed with maps and location as well (here’s my current wallpaper). My current thought: mapping your time. Bear with me on this.

Like this illustration, imagine taking a true stock of your day and seeing where you fritter away your time. Were I to start at the beginning, I’d be even more ruthless in reviewing what I do with my time. I’d have to draw in the town coffee shop, where you can’t get in and out in under seven minutes, though the basics of every order are the same.

So what’s the value in the exercise? Everything. I think that time audits and this mapping technique and anything that forces you to take into account what you’re doing with your time in a day matters. Here’s a sample list of things you should consider throwing on the map:

  • Breakfast tasks.

  • Morning TV viewing before leaving for work.
  • Your choice of commute.
  • Office chit-chat time.
  • Meeting time.
  • Documentation Time.
  • Email time.
  • Surfing time.
  • Lunch choices time.

Okay, I just bored MYSELF with that. You get it. Take a long hard look (and do it visually, as I show you in the picture above), and see whether there are parts of what you’re doing that you might want to reconsider. The time you find might become the time you needed to make money doing something else.

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  • Anonymous

    Good thing to do from time to time to catch drift too.

    For Internet Junkies, Dave Seah has an interactive tracking form over on his blog you can use to track your time through the day here:

    http://davidseah.com/tools/ett/alpha/

    It includes a chime facility to remind you to track it though the noise is a little over substantial for my liking.

  • Anonymous

    Good thing to do from time to time to catch drift too.

    For Internet Junkies, Dave Seah has an interactive tracking form over on his blog you can use to track your time through the day here:

    http://davidseah.com/tools/ett/alpha/

    It includes a chime facility to remind you to track it though the noise is a little over substantial for my liking.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13123196 Marco Terry

    For those of us who live in Miami, we’ll need to factor time for the traditional Cafecito (coffee). You can’t get anything done around here unless you have a good jolt of cuban coffee….

    As opposed to the usual fru fru coffee shops, you can get a cafecito in almost any hole in the wall….And all is done in 5 minutes or less.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13123196 Marco Terry

    For those of us who live in Miami, we’ll need to factor time for the traditional Cafecito (coffee). You can’t get anything done around here unless you have a good jolt of cuban coffee….

    As opposed to the usual fru fru coffee shops, you can get a cafecito in almost any hole in the wall….And all is done in 5 minutes or less.

  • Anonymous

    actually auditing your time is a very practical thing. The first step in changing any behavior usually is to monitor it. A long time ago, I once logged how much time I wasted watching TV. The first day I logged 4 hours! I basically never watched that much TV again.

  • Anonymous

    actually auditing your time is a very practical thing. The first step in changing any behavior usually is to monitor it. A long time ago, I once logged how much time I wasted watching TV. The first day I logged 4 hours! I basically never watched that much TV again.