A Time Study Gives You So Much Information
As the name implies you are going to study how you spend your time, in detail. We all have repetitive tasks and we have a general idea of how long it takes to complete those tasks, but do you really know how long they take? And what happens when you have a new task, how do you know how long you are spending on that task? How do you know where you are wasting time and what you should be outsourcing?
First you need to take your most common tasks and set a timer to see how long you spend completing the task. Now the important part here is to time yourself more than once doing each task. Timing yourself once doesn’t count. If it is a daily task, you want to track your time for at least 10 different days. Tasks that are done multiple times a day, I suggest you track your time on these tasks for a full week. The tasks that are done more sporadically are harder to pin down, but still worth the effort.
Write it Down
I know old fashioned pen and paper – they help to provide a visual reminder. I suggest you keep a seperate piece of paper for each timed task, and break down the tasks and time each element or step needed to complete the task.
Heres and example: Writing a Blog Post – I want to know the total time it takes, but there are several steps involved. I have to have a topic, then create an outline, choose photos or graphics to use in the post, add monetization (if appropirate), make sure there is a call to action. That is all just the preperation steps, and each one should have it’s own start and end time, as well as a start and end time for all of the prep work, and this is just one part of the total time it takes to write a blog post. I hope you get the idea.
Now I want you to do this for each task you do. If you love data, you will love doing a time study. If you hate data, you will be amazed at all you will learn about how you are spending your time, and you will hardly even notice it came from data ;).
What Do You Do With All This Knowledge?
As I said, this will give you lots of information and you will have to decide what you want to act upon now, and what you want to disregard. You get to see if it really takes you as long as you think it does for your tasks. This can be very helpful when you are ready to outsource, you know how long it takes to complete the given task and you know how much your are willing to pay to gain back that amount of time.
You will have some data that you think is interesting, but you won’t know how to apply it to make improvements in your business, don’t let this bother you, just let it go. In the future it may becomemore relevant, or maybe not. My point here is to act upon the information that is relevant to improving your business right now, and do it.
Time is our most precious resource, the one thing we can never replace, make sure you are using your time wisely.
Please share your experience in the comments below.