I had someone write and ask to see what one of time sheets look like. Because that’s a surprisingly personal thing to me and wouldn’t make much sense anyway I’m just going to share how my time breaks down, generally.
First, keeping a running journal of how you spend your time is very useful because A) you’ll identify things that aren’t effective and optimal in your usage of time and B) you’ll begin to notice trends in what you do best when.
For example, I have a family so my schedule isn’t as wide open as it used to be. It doesn’t matter when I go to bed, my kids are going to have me up at 5AM and usually once or twice during the night. They don’t care if I go to bed at 10 or 1AM. When it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up.
Family time is priority 1A in my life, so that means I work an 8-5 schedule when I’m busy – and 10-4 schedule when less busy.
By keeping my time journal I’ve found that I’m a slow starter – my brain becomes active in the late morning and I’m most motivated to work in the afternoon. Without kids, I’d probably work well in the evening too.
The key with the journal is to be brutally honest – no judgment on it. You do what you do. You might SAY you value something else, but what you DO is what you are placing value on. Usually that’s happening unconsciously. Being brutally honest allows you to see your behaviors in an objective way and creating a plan around that which works for you.
So I’ve learned to play on what works for me and that’s probably going to be different for you.
Here’s my rough schedule:
8:00 – 8:30 Get to office, orient my day, manage outsourcers.
If I don’t have a plan and a to-do list the day is usually an ineffective disaster.
8:30 – 9:30 New learning.
I like to get new ideas into my head to start the day. This time used to be wasted on ESPN, reading the news, etc. I recognized the existing drive to read/learn, and replaced the junk with something more advancing.
9:30 – 11:00 Write.
When I have new ideas that’s a good time to write. Maybe that’s new training material, a new product, copy, or work instructions for outsourcers. Depends on what I’m inspired to do and what I want to accomplish in my day.
Email, phone calls, support tickets I need to answer, etc.
I admit this is the weak spot in my day. I rarely take this time – I eat at my desk. I have a treadmill in my office and a laptop setup on it so I can get some exercise. Exercise really makes a huge difference for me.
1:00-4:00 Selling and marketing.
This should be a bigger block of my day, but this is specifically looking for new offers to make to my lists and setting up those promotions. This isn’t article writing, putting together websites, or “passive marketing” – this is going directly for sales. I think this is the single best thing you can do to ramp up your income.
4:00-4:30 Loose ends
4:30-5:00 Plan next day, clean up, final email check, de-compress before going home.
Some days I’m great at sticking with my plan and some days I’m not. Some days I just can’t for a variety of reasons.
I highly recommend tracking your time because it will give you some real insight into yourself that might surprise you. I’ve come to the conclusion that different people work well with different time rules – one size does not fit all.
I work best in short, intense bursts. 3 hours being the max and as the weather here in Arizona gets warmer I’ll probably break my day into 2, 3-hour segments. That’s another thing I’ve found works REALLY well for me – only giving myself 3 hours to get everything on my to-do list done. I can usually accomplish 75% of those tasks that I used to take all day to do – but there is no outside influence allowed.