Aug 18, 2014
Welcome to the SuccessLab Podcast episode #15. In this episode, I’m in The Lab with Mikey Campbell, Senior Editor of Apple Insider.
Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeycampbell81.
This week’s Biz Hack: Last week’s Biz Hack was all about productivity and it seemed to generate some good momentum, so I decided to stay on the productivity track for this week’s Biz Hack. This is something I did quite a while ago, but decided it was time to do it again…kind of like getting a maintenance checkup on your car to keep it running efficiently, this will hopefully have the same effect. I’ve talked about keeping track of your time before so you can see where you may be squandering it, but I wanted to delve a little deeper into the subject. I’m actually going to challenge you - for one week, in whatever way is easiest for you whether an app like Chronos, spreadsheet or in a small Field Notes journal, track where your time is spent. For one week.
One of the easiest ways I’ve found to do this is to break things up into categories and subcategories like work, meals, household chores, computer time, family, leisurely activities, and so on. Subcategories of work might be meetings, client work, email, and phone calls. Or meal subcategories might be grocery shopping, preparation and actual eating of said meal. Make this list of categories and subcategories ahead of time, so sit down and think about your daily activities and the categories that would be appropriate for you.
As you go about your day as normal, record each activity from start to stop. Choose a method that’s easiest for you. You might right down actual minutes or you can keep track in decimals. To do this determine the intervals you want to break the hour into. This could 15 minute intervals in which you round up to the nearest 15 minutes and simply log a .25, .5, .75 and so on. Or I’ve seen this broken into 6-minute increments, where for example, if a task takes you 2o minutes you’d round it to 24 minutes and log a .4 (24 minutes divided by 6 minutes).
After you’re through with your week of tracking your time, add up all the times by category and subcategory. Take those totals and divide it by the number of days you recorded your activities. This will give you your average. Be prepared - the numbers might shock you. If they do, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just use this exercise as a way to make more informed decisions about how you schedule your day. You might start by eliminating or condensing a few things down or simply moving things around. For instance, if you now know that on meeting intensive days you get little work done, you might resolve to stay off social networks or cruising around the internet just on those days.
The goal is not to make you feel like you instantly have to change your ways or eliminate a ton of stuff. Keep in mind, when you make rapid, intense changes you often default back to what’s comfortable in the short term. Just use this information to gain more insight into your habits and determine how best to manipulate your schedule.
Action Item: Your action item for this week is to log your activities for one week. Even if you get 3 solid days, we’ll count that as a win.
Quote of the week: Keep this one in mind as your cursing this week’s action item: “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.” ~ Jeff Olson. He is the author of “The Slight Edge.”
Next week we’re in the lab with Kirsten Alana, a travel photographer, content creator and speaker. She talks about how she made a business out of traveling and photography. She also gives a couple Instagram tips (and she’s got more than 50,000 followers, so she knows what she’s talking about).
Finally, for past action items, biz hacks and quotes of the week, head over to SuccessLabr.com and let me know how you’re doing either by leaving a comment or joining the SuccessLab forum! Until next time, have prosperous week!