This is the second part in the series How to double your productivity.
Did you know, at least according to Snapple Real Facts, that we on average kiss for 2 weeks during our lifetime?
Did you know youÂ´ll spend 2 years of your life on the phone and 2 weeks of your life waiting for the traffic-light to turn green?
Do you know your average life-expectancy counted in days and not years?
To find ways to increase our productivity we should look at what we are doing with our time right now. What did you do today? Where did your time go?
To find out exactly where it went I suggest logging your time for a normal day. Grab a pen and a notepad. Now, tomorrow or any day that fits your schedule write down every activity you do from the moment you wake up in the morning until you got to bed at night. Write it all down.
Use a stopwatch to measure the time of every activity. My old Nokia 3310 has a stop-watch so itÂ´s likely your cell-phone has one too. Have the notepad, pen and cell-phone with you all day.
Before you go to bed that day, order all the activities into different categories. Some of my categories were websurfing, bathroom breaks, riding the bus and cooking. You might want to use your notepad or some Excel-type of program to do this. Then work out how much time you have spent on each category.
If you use the internet during your day I suggest you download the free addon PageAddict for Firefox. If you donÂ´t have Firefox, then download that too as it is an awesome browser. PageAddict will let you track just how much time you spend on different websites. To view your statistics, click Tools in Firefox and then PageAddict. The creators recommend that if you leave your computer for a while, donÂ´t leave a browser window on top or as active. It can give you inaccurate results.
The results of keeping a time log can be both a little surprising and a little disturbing. I, for instance, found that I spent more time than I thought riding or waiting for a bus. And that I use more time than I imagined using internet-forums and checking my website statistics. I think many find that doing less important things and pretty much just wasting time takes up more time than we want to know. And the time spent actually doing things you find important is less than you might imagine.
If there is one figure you hear over and over again studying when productivity itÂ´s this: the average office-worker only spends 1.5 hours of his or her day actually working.
According to a recent survey by America Online and Salary.com it might not be that bad. The average office-worker admits wasting or spacing out for 2.09 hours every 8-hour day. And that doesnÂ´t include the lunch break. The biggest time-waster is, not surprisingly, surfing the internet. It accounts for 44.7% of the wasted time. However, the 10 000 employees interviewed probably didnÂ´t log their time and therefore gave a rough and most likely overly optimistic estimations.
Bringing up these less important activities and the time they occupy to your conscious mind can feel a little disturbing. But, for instance, knowing exactly how much time I spent aimlessly browsing forums has helped me become more focused and less time-wasting in my online habits.
Keeping a log if only for one day can help you identify time-thieves. It can also help you become better at realistically estimating how much time an activity will actually take. Of course, you can also expand and track a whole week to get more information and a better overview of your life.
ThereÂ´s programs to help you log your time. Lifehacker, for example, has one nifty little script. But if you want to track you whole day, and not just your working hours, then a pen and some paper is probably more suitable. Or perhaps you could do a quick Google-search for free time tracking software for your cell-phone or PDA.
Now, getting back to where we started…
Did you know that if you are an average American your life-expectancy, in rough numbers, is 28105 days? That if you are Indian that your life-expectancy is 24455 days? And if you are Chinese your life-expectancy is 26280 days?
What do you want to do with your days?
In the next few days, in part three of this series: One way to know what activities you should focus on…
You might want to read the first part in this series: Declutter, declutter, declutter!