Time audit: 5 steps to align your time towards your goals

Time must be the most equal substance on the planet. We all have exactly 1,440 minutes in our day, no matter what our sex, skin colour or occupation is. So how is it possible that some people can create more happiness, wealth and fun within those minutes? And no, I don't want to hear any moaning about the handicap position you are starting from with no resources, no money, and no support etc (please read our last week's post!)

What hinders you from reaching your goals and your dream life is your refusal to change your daily habits! It's called stupidity to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.

We want to share a simple method that we've used to get our own time working for us, not against us.

Time Audit

1) List everything 

Pick a typical week and list everything, I mean, everything you do (excluding going to the toilet perhaps). You need to list eating, sleeping, commuting, time spend on facebook for fun and time spend on twitter to boost your business. You must write down everything: taking the kids to school, making dinner for the big man, and yes, cleaning - if you have not yet invested in a cleaner! It is, by the way, the best investment a woman can make if they want to move up. You have got to hire someone else to do the work that doesn't add value, what ever it might be. Or try to delegate otherwise.

In some circles women think they teach a great lesson and set an example to their kids by doing all the housework (and being extremely grumpy and exhausted as a result). I'm yet to discover the benefits of being such role model to my kids and have thus opted to outsource, and have my boys grow in a clean house with a happy mother.

Anyhow, you must be honest and write down everything you use your time on. No need to list how many minutes or hours everything takes, just list the tasks in your weekly existence. If you are in a job it may be enough to list maximum three different aspects of it. If you are an entrepreneur you may want to do a separate Time Audit for your business.

Next, you can download the format or you can just use the headlines as described below.

2) Focus = do more of

Now look at your list and pick the tasks that are going to take you towards your goal and write them down.

3) Reduce = do less of

What are the tasks you can do less of? You need to learn to accept 85% or even less of a standard on some tasks that just aren't that critical on your path towards your dream life.

4) Delegate 

This is my personal favourite. Will write a book about 'Outsourcing for women' one day (when I have time!)...

Think ruthlessly where you add value right now, and delegate the rest, within your means and resources, of course. Most women have a lot of people around them they could delegate stuff to such as husband and kids, but they rather feel priceless in their own little martyrdom ('Nobody can fill up the dishwasher as well as me!'). You must start trusting people you delegate stuff to do their job and often accept lower standards than if you would have done it yourself. Just keep in mind how critical that stuff really is. How that 4 year old's birthday present is wrapped (elephants or trucks in the wrapping paper who cares) or if the dinner is a bit overcooked isn't seriously critical. And if that stuff defines your existence you should seriously re-evaluate your life!

5) Stop doing

This is the most difficult box to fill in. We'd like to keep everything in, but there is only 1,440 minutes in the day so if you want to increase doing what is really important you have got to stop doing something to free up the minutes! Life just isn't popcorn cosy, watching TV every night for the ones that want more. Sorry. Better get used to it.

The paradox is that you need to allocate your time correctly in order to make some money. And once you have enough money, then you can spend your time freely and start watching that daytime TV again! Until then, let's get to work girls.

~ Miisa

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