Time Mapping – A helpful tool for effective time management

Time mapping an exercise that will help you become more self-aware and schedule your time more effectively.  It is based on 2 critical ideas.

  1. Categorizing what you love doing and dislike doing.
  2. Knowing when your most productive/inspired hours are.

Start with 3-5 priorities you want to accomplish that week. How many priorities you choose is dependent on what you need to accomplish in a year based on the milestones defined in your business plan.

August 28 Time Mapping

Once you have your priorities outlined, list what you need to get done for them within a week by what you love to do, what you hate to do, and what you’re pretty neutral about doing. In the example above, they are outlined by colours blue, green and purple.

If you’re a home based business, a primary caregiver or have a number of family activities during the week, these need to be incorporated into your calendar as well with lead times (travel, prep). Be realistic about the time you can dedicate. As you start to use the map you may adjust week to week based on what’s working.

We encourage you to include any health and wellness activities such as exercise, or meditation and quality family time as indicated in red in the above graph.

Next, think about when you find you’re most productive. Are you a morning person? Do you  prefer to work in the dead of night? When do you find yourself inspired?

Now, you simply take the tasks that you dislike most, and do them when you’re most productive. And tasks you love to do can be done when you’re a bit slower.

Neutral tasks are done in between to keep you from losing too much time on one task. This usually happens when we fall down a task “rabbit hole” in our day. It helps break up your day, but still has value as long as it serves the purpose of meeting your milestone or personal family commitment.

And that’s it! Try it out. It can take a bit of trial and error to get into your groove but the more you work with it the more useful it will become.

One of our goals is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give them the tools to achieve success.  For more information on our services and up-coming events, please visit us in person or online at the Halton Small Business Centre.

To keep up-to-date with everything the Halton Small Business Centre is offering, sign-up to get our e-updates on events and receive our monthly Small Business e-newsletter.  For news and event information, follow us on Twitter at @HaltonBusiness.

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