5 Tips for Creating a Time Diary

Andy Hunt quote

“Time can’t be created or destroyed, only allocated.”

– Andy Hunt

Has Lockdown changed your perception of time?

Is every passing minute a reminder of time used, spent, wasted or lost?

I live in Edinburgh and every day the One o’Clock Gun is fired from Edinburgh Castle. It has been fired at 1pm every day (except Sundays) since 1861 as a time signal for ships in the Firth of Forth to set their maritime clocks.

Today, it mainly makes the tourist jump.

If you want to know how you allocate your time – really allocate your time – keep a time diary for one week.

  1. Keep diary on you at all times.
  2. Record every task – work and leisure.
    1. Start with when you get up and don’t stop recording until bedtime. Two or three word descriptions are enough.
  3. Record actual times.
    1. If you have a meeting at 10am but it doesn’t start until 10:10am write down both times. If you did something in-between those times, record that as well.
  4. Record start and end times.
    1. e.g. “s. 08:49 – blog post | e. 10:17”.
  5. Record interruptions.
    1. If an interruption breaks your concentration on current task, record it e.g. “s.08:49 – blog post | s. 09:23 – 8m phone call interruption | e. 10:17”

End of week: Look back and you will see exactly where your time was used, spent, wasted or lost.

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