How To Log Your Daily Activities And Manage Your Time Better

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Go to business school, and you’ll perceive it complete and complete again: What gets measured gets managed. Often attributed to Peter Drucker, this maxim besides applies to clip management. If you don’t cognize really you are spending your clip complete nan day, really are you meant to negociate it?

When it comes to being a amended head of your time, location are options. One specified action is having a regular activity log. By simply seeing really your clip is spent, it’ll empower you to be much productive successful respective ways.

What Is a Daily Activity Log?

It is precisely really it sounds. It is simply a written grounds of really you walk your clip of nan day. This shouldn’t beryllium confused pinch timesheets – which are utilized for really you usage that clip aliases search clip connected important activity aliases tasks.

Though it’s elemental successful nature, leveraging a regular activity log tin supply tremendous benefits:

  • It helps you to understand whether aliases not you are devoting clip to important activity aliases not.
  • It tin thief you observe your power levels by letting you pinpoint wherever successful nan time you’re nan astir focused and energized.
  • It identifies non-core activities that don’t thief you scope your goals.

Examples Of A Daily Activity Log

To springiness you an thought of what immoderate regular activity log looks like, beneath are 3 examples that tin springiness you an thought of what they tin look like.

Example 1

How To Log Your Daily Activities And Manage Your Time Better

This illustration is simply a lax 1 arsenic it only focuses connected 1 facet of Jonathan’s life: his work. Even so, a regular activity log followed by a play reappraisal tin thief successful improving your power level and show you what important activity is ahead.

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This regular activity log is adjuvant from a productivity standpoint arsenic you get a amended knowing of really overmuch clip you should beryllium spending connected definite tasks.

Example 2

How To Log Your Daily Activities And Manage Your Time Better

A regular activity log doesn’t request your activities exclusively. It tin person mini reminders arsenic well. Upcoming meetings, a fewer wide notes, reminders to beryllium checking emails of peculiar note.

On apical of breaking everything down into hour-long chunks, you tin support up pinch your power levels and spot wherever you person nan astir power to perform.

Example 3

How To Log Your Daily Activities And Manage Your Time Better

The last illustration of a regular activity log is much of a timeline. It’s broader but it still is functional pinch immoderate wide details.

Noting really overmuch clip is utilized for definite activities tin thief you categorize your clip into chunks. From there, you tin spot really you tin beryllium much businesslike and really overmuch clip you person near from nan clip of nan day.

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Where to Log Your Daily Activities

You person 2 options for logging your regular activities: physically aliases digitally. Based connected nan examples posted above, location is nary “right way” to create a regular activity log.

All nan same, location is nary correct measurement to really you want your regular activity log presented. It comes down to individual preference.

Digital Logging

For a fewer reasons, galore group for illustration to log their tasks successful a almanac aliases productivity software. Those reasons are:

1. Accessibility

Who wants to transportation a planner everyplace they go? Several regular locator apps person integer tracking. What this intends is they tin automate a batch of nan search process for you.

Paired pinch nan truth you ever person your phone, nan accessibility is top-notch. They tin besides beryllium pulled up connected your computer, wherever you tin analyse nan data.

2. Customizability

Do you for illustration to position your tasks arsenic a almanac aliases a list? Do you for illustration to categorize them by type, participant, timeline, aliases thing else? Do you color-code them? Digital activity logging devices put you successful nan driver’s seat. If you alteration your mind astir a layout aliases colour choice, you tin ever set it later.

3. Cost

The regular activity log marketplace is immense pinch truthful galore planners disposable for consumers. Some of them are cheap, but erstwhile you commencement looking astatine hardcover planners aliases much unsocial ones, you’ll beryllium spending more.

It’s understandable to salary much successful bid to promote yourself to do nan habit. But it’s not nan astir effective method.

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“One of nan champion things you tin do is spell retired to a shop and touch nan planner, consciousness it and really look astatine it,” explains Jackie Reeve, who writes for The New York Times’ Wirecutter project.

Going integer is smarter because astir integer search devices are free. Some connection paid versions pinch much features, but moreover these are competitory pinch bound insubstantial planners.

Still, not everyone uses package to log their regular activities. So, what do nan paper-planner folks for illustration astir them?

Physical Logging

Just arsenic immoderate group for illustration people books to e-books, immoderate would alternatively log their regular activities connected paper. This action has immoderate advantages that are worthy considering.

1. Memorization

Research suggests that writing things down helps america perpetrate them to memory. If you’re trying to memorize a caller routine, a insubstantial activity planner mightiness beryllium your champion bet.

Comparatively, if you’re personification who gets a batch of notifications connected their phone, you whitethorn go numb to them. As a result, you could disregard reminders from your regular activity log app.

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2. Privacy

Although package companies walk a batch connected information security, information breaches still happen. If you interest astir your schedule aliases activities leaking retired to nan incorrect person, a insubstantial planner could beryllium nan correct choice.

Remember that insubstantial logging puts much of nan work connected your shoulders. Nobody is going to publication your activity log if you support it successful a safe deposit box. But astatine nan aforesaid time, really are you going to entree it?

3. Visibility

To entree your integer activity tracker, you request to deliberation astir it, propulsion up nan app connected your telephone aliases computer, and log in. If you station a insubstantial log successful nan correct place, each you request to do is return a glimpse astatine it.

This is why galore business professionals still support a insubstantial almanac connected their desk, contempt besides maintaining a integer one. Nothing jogs nan mind for illustration a ocular reminder.

Once you’ve decided wherever to put your activity data, you request to really log and analyse it. Practice by clocking really agelong it takes you to reappraisal my six tips for doing so.

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The Best Apps for Daily Activity Log Tracking

Because businesses want to beryllium search worker clip for years now, nan regular activity log apps person flooded nan market. There are respective options that are useful for businesses but tin besides beryllium bully for individuals individual clip too,

Some of nan cardinal apps successful nan marketplace to look for are:

  • Toggl Track
  • RescueTime
  • ClickUp
  • Monday
  • Smartsheet
  • Hive

5 Tips connected How to Track Your Daily Activities

Some activities are easier to log than others. Digital ones, for illustration videoconferences, mightiness already beryllium connected your almanac by kindness of nan induce you sent out. Others, for illustration that wilderness hike you took connected a whim, whitethorn require immoderate readying and estimation.

Here’s wherever to start:

1. Get Time Bounds Down to nan Minute

When search your time, it’s easy to information pinch nan insubstantial method. You commencement a task astatine 3:23 p.m. and you determine to log it successful arsenic 3:20 aliases 3:25 pm. For digital, you whitethorn hide to show nan app to extremity search aliases to commencement search something.

While that mightiness not look for illustration a large deal, definite inconsistencies will skew your activity log and nan data.

Sloppy logging becomes an moreover bigger rumor erstwhile you request to analyse really you’re spending your time. If each five-minute “review and checking emails” task is disconnected by 2 minutes, it creates a script wherever you deliberation you’re spending a batch of clip checking emails.

The reality is you aren’t and you started moving connected nan adjacent task early and didn’t grounds it.

2. Take Notes For Irregularities

Life is afloat of surprises and sloppy of nan method you pick, you request to relationship for this. Was your boy aliases girl aliases furry friend distracting you while you were finishing up that connection email? Make a statement of that truthful later successful nan week you won’t beryllium shocked that you spent much clip than you expected connected definite tasks.

If you spell nan insubstantial route, effort not to grounds successful pen. Rarely does a time spell by that I don’t make immoderate benignant of correction to my planner aliases adhd further notes. Digital trackers don’t tally into that rumor since you’re free to edit and update them arsenic you wish.

When it comes to logging your time, nan “why” matters conscionable arsenic overmuch arsenic nan “when” and “how long.” You request to cognize why definite tasks took much aliases little clip than expected if you want to become a amended clip manager.

3. Ask for Corrections

No matter really meticulous you are, everyone makes mistakes. If you’re logging a group activity—whether it’s a trading run astatine activity aliases cooking meal astatine home—ask others successful nan group to statement nan starting clip and extremity times.

Based connected what they say, you tin statement if you were connected nan people for really agelong thing took aliases off. The much group involved, nan much meticulous your timings tin be.

Chances are bully that your clip log will disagree somewhat from that of your partners. What’s important isn’t whose clip is right, but identifying nan types of tasks wherever discrepancies are common. Tasks that aren’t being logged correctly can’t beryllium analyzed aliases acted connected pinch confidence.

4. Back It Up

How bully is your memory? Could you singing nan past period of your activity log if it was mislaid aliases stolen? Probably not.

If you usage a insubstantial activity tracker, return a photograph of it each week. Upload nan photos to a unreality retention solution for illustration Google Drive.

If you usage a integer one, backmost up your activity log connected a section retention device. You ne'er cognize erstwhile nan institution down your locator is going to spell bust.

All of this matters arsenic you tin mention backmost to older pieces of information and spot nan changes that you’ve made complete a play of time. It tin besides beryllium adjuvant to statement if location aren’t immoderate changes astatine all, you tin constituent to why that is.

5. Dig Into nan Data

Once you person a period aliases much of activity data—and are assured it’s logged correctly—the nosy begins. You tin make amended usage of your clip by analyzing really you’ve been spending it.

How you portion nan information depends connected what you are aiming to get retired of it.

Maybe each you request is simply a billable hours fig astatine nan extremity of each month. That’s easy—just adhd up each nan activities you did connected behalf of your clients successful nan past 4 weeks.

If you want to cognize really overmuch clip you’ve spent exercising, find nan times you spent going for a locomotion aliases biking, going to nan gym, aliases stretching.

Using your activity log to amended your individual life requires you to deliberation astir your interests and ideals. Does your greeting routine consistently time off you capable clip to eat breakfast? If not, you mightiness request to commencement waking up earlier.

Is your salaried occupation forcing you to activity good beyond 40 hours per week? Then, it mightiness beryllium clip to commencement looking for a caller one.

Downloadable Daily Activity Log

For those who for illustration nan consciousness of insubstantial aliases want to beryllium utilizing spreadsheets, location are respective downloadable activity log templates. Some sample activity logs are disposable connected Word Templates Online.

Do More, Do Better

Your regular mightiness not look for illustration thing special. But if you log your regular activities, you’ll spot that you do a batch each day.

To amended negociate your time—either by cutting retired unnecessary tasks aliases completing your existing ones much efficiently—you request to way your time. Opportunities for optimization are there—you conscionable person to get started successful identifying them.

Featured photograph credit: Paico Oficial via

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