Keys to Evaluating How Well You Use Your Time

By Dirk Zeller

Part of Successful Time Management For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Knowing how you used your time this week can affect your moods, productivity, and preparation for next week. People who evaluate time spent can learn to be more productive and effective.

Key questions you must review:

  • What went well this week? What could you have done better?

  • How would you rate your week on a 1-to-10 scale?

  • Did you meet your goals at home?

  • Has what you’ve accomplished this week positioned you better to achieve your long-range goals?

  • What are the key improvement areas for you next week?

  • What’s diverting you from your schedule?

As you are reviewing your results, be careful to do so with an open, observant mind, not a judgmental one. Give yourself a couple of weeks before you resolve to change your schedule. Doing so helps you get through a long enough period of time to account for anomalies.

Before you can do any sort of strategizing, you need to take a good, honest look at how you use your time. For people who struggle with time management, the problem, by and large, lies in the crucial steps of assessing and planning. Start your assessment with these steps:

  1. Observe how you currently use your time.

  2. What do you spend most of your day doing?

  3. How far down the daily to-do list do you get each day?

  4. Assess your personal productivity trends.

  5. During which segments of the day are your energy levels at the highest?

  6. Which personal habits cause you to adjust your plans for the day?

  7. Take a close look at the interruptions you face on a regular basis.

  8. During what segments of the day do you experience the most interruptions?

  9. What sort of interruptions do you receive most frequently and from whom?