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Time Audits and Routines: A Personal Journey to Better Time Management

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

Like many of you, I've struggled with time management in my busy life. I've tried various techniques and strategies, but nothing seemed to stick until I started conducting time audits and using the data to establish routines. I want to share my experience with you and explore the benefits of routines, as well as when they might not be the best option. Remember, routines are just one solution, but they're worth a try, especially if you're someone who thrives on structure or has used routines in other aspects of your life.

Discovering Time Audits

Time audits are an amazing tool for getting a clear picture of how you spend your time during the day. By tracking different tasks and activities, you can spot time-wasters, set priorities, and make better decisions on how to use your time more effectively. Once you've conducted a time audit, you can use these insights to establish routines that suit your lifestyle. If you're curious about time audits or the advantages of monitoring your time, check out the 11th edition of my LinkedIn newsletter “Beyond the Ivory Tower where I discuss this in depth.

Benefits of Routines

A routine is a set of regular, structured activities or procedures followed consistently in daily life, providing predictability and stability. I found that establishing routines has helped me manage my time more efficiently. Routines provide structure, predictability, and consistency, leading to a more organized and productive life. These are some advantages that the use of routines can bring to your life:

  • Reducing decision fatigue: Routines minimize the number of decisions we need to make, conserving mental energy for more important tasks.

  • Building habits: Consistent routines help us develop habits, which become automatic behaviours that require less conscious thought.

  • Enhancing focus and productivity: Routines can reduce distractions and improve concentration, allowing us to be more efficient in completing tasks.

  • Promoting better time management: Routines help us allocate and prioritize our time effectively, ensuring we give adequate attention to our priorities or key responsibilities.

  • Reducing stress and anxiety: The predictability and structure of routines can help ease stress and anxiety, providing a sense of stability.

  • Facilitating goal achievement: Routines can break down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks, enabling us to make steady progress.

  • Reinforcing self-discipline: Following routines consistently requires self-discipline, which can improve our overall ability to manage time and make better choices.

When Routines May Not Be the Best Option

While routines have been a game-changer for me, they might not be suitable for everyone or in every situation. Routines can be restricting for those who like to be spontaneous or those whose schedules are always shifting. Also, routines can become monotonous over time, leading to boredom or disengagement. Balance is important and you should adjust your routines to fit your personal needs.

Time audits and routines have been a tremendous help for me with my time management. By conducting a time audit, you can gain crucial insights into your daily habits and use this information to establish routines that work best for you. While routines may not be the perfect solution for everyone, they're definitely worth a try, particularly if you're someone who enjoys structure or has benefited from routines in other aspects of life. So, give it a shot and see how routines can transform your time management and overall productivity.

What personal experiences have you had with time audits and routines?

Share your successes, challenges, and tips in the comments below to help others on their time management journey!


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