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Most of Us Have a Bank Account, but Very Few of Us Keep A “Time Account”

Most of Us Have a Bank Account, but Very Few of Us Keep A “Time Account”

Are you investing your time or spending it? Is this something you have even thought of before? If not, you should. As Roger Hamilton stated in Wink and Grow Rich,

“When you invest your time in yourself, it is time invested on your health, on quality activities that enrich your life. New experiences and greater energy and vitality that make you stronger every day.”

Time is an asset in our life that we should value more than money. Once wasted, we can always earn more money. Yet, time wasted is lost forever. Once we understand the importance of time, wealth seems to follow.

So how do we invest our time? And how can we visualize it?

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We can do this by using a method that was originally developed to calculate an employer’s payroll, a method called Timesheets. However, let’s not look at Timesheets as a simple time card or punch card. Instead, think of them as Productivity Boosters. Think of them as your own personal Life Dashboard. Let’s look at some different types of Timesheets, then we will take a look at how to use them.

Now let’s take a look at how to create your Life Dashboard.

Creating Your Life Dashboard

It doesn’t matter if we are developing a Timesheet for our business or our personal life, we must get better at investing our time. Here is a simple way to use a Timesheet.

1. Pick the tool that suits you

Find an approach that you will stick with.

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Easiest way: Microsoft Excel

Here you can get creative and create your own Timesheet application.

    Toggl

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    This is an easy to use iOS, Android, Linux, or Windows application for tracking time. You can use this app for free or you can upgrade to the Pro version. Some of the free features include: tracking reminders and time, creating a timeline, a team dashboard, a Pomodoro timer, and project management features.

    Timely

    Timely is an app that is great for turning your calendar into a time tracker. It is available on iOS, Apple Watch, Android, and Windows applications. This app is free with a Pro version available as well.

    Everhour

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    Here we have a web-based Timesheet designed for team management. Everhour allows teams to seamlessly integrate project management tools, such as: Asana, Trello, Basecamp, GitHub, JIRA, or Pivotal Tracker. Additionally, you can create custom reports, task dashboards, and watch in real time with a live dashboard. This is a great option if you are looking for a technological upgrade from Excel. Everhour is free to use with a Pro version available for upgrade.
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    2. Use a Timer

    Tasks always appear to be more manageable when we break them into chunks. Similarly, by breaking time into bite-sized chunks, we can accurately track time spent on every activity. Additionally, you must use a timer. If a timer is not built into the app you are using, then you must use a separate timer.

    3. Review your personal data

    Start looking for time traps that are taking away productivity. The only way to identify a time trap is to track your time which is your personal data.

    A Timesheet allows us the ability to visualize how we spend our time. Just as an online banking account allows us the ability to visualize how we spend our money, a Timesheet helps us visualize how we spend our time. We all know that we should invest more of our money. Time is no different. In the end, we are all the product of our choices in life. Using an analogy from Wink and Grow Rich, think of a watering can,

    “The more you sprinkle it, the more you grow. Directions for use: Apply, Rinse, Repeat.”

    Reference

    More by this author

    Dr. Jamie Schwandt

    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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    Last Updated on May 7, 2021

    Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

    Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

    I have been an early-riser for over a year now. Monday through Friday I wake up at 5:00 AM without hitting the snooze button even once. I never take naps and rarely feel tired throughout the day. The following is my advice on how to start your day (everyday) at 5:00 AM.The idea of waking up early and starting the day at or before the sunrise is the desire of many people. Many highly successful people attribute their success, at least in part, to rising early. Early-risers have more productive mornings, get more done, and report less stress on average than “late-risers.” However, for the unaccustomed, the task of waking up at 5:00 AM can seem extremely daunting. This article will present five tips about how to physically wake up at 5:00 AM and how to get yourself mentally ready to have a productive day.

    Many people simply “can’t” get up early because they are stuck in a routine. Whether this is getting to bed unnecessarily late, snoozing repetitively, or waiting until the absolute last possible moment before getting out of bed, “sleeping in” can easily consume your entire morning. The following tips will let you break the “sleeping in” routine.

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    Relocate your alarm clock.

    Having an alarm clock too close to your bed is the number one reason people simply cannot get up in the morning. If your alarm clock is within arms reach of your bed, or if you can turn your alarm clock off without getting out of bed, you are creating an unnecessarily difficult situation for yourself. Before I became an early-riser, there were many times that I would turn off my alarm without even waking up enough to remember turning it off. I recommend moving your alarm clock far enough away from your bed that you have to get completely out of bed to turn it off. I keep my alarm clock in the bathroom. This may not be possible for all living arrangements, however, I use my cellphone as an alarm clock and putting it in the bathroom makes perfect sense. In order to turn off my alarm I have to get completely out of bed, and since going to the restroom and taking a shower are the first two things I do everyday, keeping the alarm clock in the bathroom streamlines the start of my morning.

    Scrap the snooze.

    The snooze feature on all modern alarm clocks serves absolutely no constructive purpose. Don’t even try the “it helps me slowly wake up” lie. I recommend buying an alarm that does not have a snooze button. If you can’t find an alarm without a snooze button, never read the instructions so you will never know how long your snooze button lasts. Not knowing whether it waits 10 minutes or 60 minutes should be enough of a deterrent to get you to stop using it.

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    Change up your buzzer

    If you use the same buzzer day in and day out, you begin to develop a tolerance to the sound. The alarm clock will slowly become less effective at waking you up over time. Most newer alarm clocks will let you set a different buzzer tone for the different days of the week. If you change your buzzer frequently, you will have an easier time waking up.

    Make a puzzle

    If you absolutely cannot wake up without repetitive snoozing, try making a puzzle for yourself. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand that the longer your alarm is going off, the more awake you will become. Try making your alarm very difficult to turn off by putting it under the sink, putting it under the bed, or better yet, by forcing yourself to complete a puzzle to turn it off. Try putting your alarm into a combination-locked box and make yourself put in the combination in order to turn off the alarm — it’s annoying, but extremely effective!

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    Get into a routine

    Getting up at 5:00 AM is much easier if you are doing it Monday through Friday rather than sporadically during the week. I recommend setting an alarm once that repeats everyday. Also, going to bed at about the same time every night is an important factor to having a productive morning. Learn how much sleep you need to get in order to not feel exhausted the following day. Some people can get by on 4-6 hours while most need 7-8.

    Have a reason

    Make sure you have a specific reason to get up in the morning. Getting up at 5:00 AM just for the heck of it is a lot more difficult than if you are getting up early to plan your day, pay bills, go for a jog, get an early start on work, etc. I recommend finding something you want to do for yourself in the morning. It will be a lot easier to get up if you are guaranteed to do something fun for yourself — compare this to going on vacation. You probably have no problem waking up very early on vacation or during holidays. My goal every morning is to bring that excitement to the day by doing something fun for myself.

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    As I previously mentioned, I have been using these tips for a very long time. Joining the world of early-risers has been a great decision. I feel less stressed, I get more done, and I feel happier than I did when I was a late-riser. If you follow these tips you can become an early-riser, too. Do you have any tips that I didn’t mention? What works best for you? Let us know in the comments.

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