One of the first things financial experts tell those with money problems is to write down every single dime they spend for a period of about 30 days. This is often used as an eye-opening exercise so people can see where their money is really going so they can know where they need to make adjustments or control their spending.
In the same way, keeping a time management diary can be a valuable tool to help you to see where the bulk of your time is being spent. If you are constantly being interrupted by phone calls or find yourself surfing the net when you should be working, a time management diary can help you to pinpoint areas where you might need to make adjustments.
Other ways a Time Management Diary can Benefit Your Business
When you start keeping a time management diary, don’t just note that you are working at certain times but rather write down exactly what kind of work you are doing. You don’t have to get detailed here, just jot down a few words.
For example, are you conducting research, responding to customer questions or complaints, filling orders, updating your site, or what? Tracking the amount of time you spend on each work activity, at least at first, will help you to see where you are spending the bulk of your time and where you might need to make adjustments.
The time management diary is for your eyes only so be honest! Write down the time you spend surfing, playing video or online games, emailing friends, and any other non work-related activities. Just like the individuals who keep finance diaries are often shocked to discover how much they spend on beverages or magazines, you may be surprised to discover where huge blocks of your time are going.
Whatever you discover, once you have a record of how you normally spend your time, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what adjustments, if any, need to be made.
Time Spent on Business Activities
You may be surprised to discover that you spend a good portion of your day answering customer questions or complaints. If so, use this information wisely to streamline your business and hopefully, increase profits.
For example, if you are spending a significant amount of time answering customer questions, could your site benefit from a FAQ section? What about customer complaints? Are you seeing the same complaints over and over again? Is there something you can do different to minimize those complaints? If so, it will serve you well to do so since your customers will likely tell others how they feel about your business, whether it is positive or negative.
Start keeping a time management diary today and use it as a tool to grow your business!