Time Tracking Exercise

Last post we focused on time wasters this time I would love to introduce to you a time tracking exercise that I really recommend. The objective is to think about how you are using your time, identify useless or non productive activities and eliminate them this also provides you with a better guide for how long a task actually takes.

In his excellent book “The Effective Executive,” Peter Drucker identifies that effective executives follow three key steps to manage their time better:

  1. They analyse the way they use their time and think about better ways of using it
  2. They find wasteful and unproductive uses of their time and reduce them systematically
  3. They consolidate their time into large chunks that they can use for their most important work.

So over the next two weeks I would highly recommend you attempt one of the two activities below:

This has 4 columsn which you record your activities in what you plan to do, what time you think it will take, what you actually did and how long that activity took.


Time Activity  Planned Est. Time Activity  Completed Actual Time
6.00 – 6.30
6.30 – 7.00
7.00 – 7.30
7.30 – 8.00

In the above we plan our day and estimate how long an activity will take. Then we actually record what we did at that particular time and how long a task actually took. This achieves the following:

  • Identifies whether we stick to our plan
  • Identifies what we do when we vary our plan
  • Identifies if we are accurate at estimating how long a task will take
  • If we are not accurate, it provides us with a real life estimate of the actual time a task takes


In this activity you record what activities you have been doing and then consider whether they were an essential activity or a non-essential activity.


Essential  Non-essential
6.00 – 6.30
6.30 – 7.00
7.00 – 7.30
7.30 – 8.00

This exercise follows a similar example however this time we are reviewing whether tasks are essential or non-essential and identifies how much free time we would have each day if we could eliminate or reduce the non-essential tasks.

It is recommended you try either option 1 or 2 for 5 days however to get real benefits it is even better to do it for two weeks.

Good luck and enjoy your learning experience I personally got a lot of useful information from this exercise.

About Us

LifeStyle Refocus is a Melbourne based personal assistant, corporate concierge and lifestyle management consultancy. They are all about saving you TIME. By taking care of your “to do” list so you can spend time doing the things that are truly important to you.

For more information go to www.lifestylerefocus.com.au or contact Silvana on 0417 595 744 or Michele on 0437 311 802.


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