A time diary can help you track good and bad productivity habits in the same way expense tracking can help identify spending habits. Like a spending diary, you will have to maintain a time diary for a few weeks before patterns emerge, but the end result can be well worth it.
Photo by Pittaya Sroilong.
Trent Hamm at personal finance blog The Simple Dollar kept a time diary for the month of May, going into as much detail as possible. After analysing the diary he found that a bad night's sleep didn't affect him until two days later, that the more he reads or interacts with his children the more he is productive the next day, and that his optimum amount of sleep is eight hours. He states:
I learned how much of an impact spending a couple of hours cleaning my office can really have. I learned how direct the positive impact of reading is on my life. I learned that going to bed around ten during the school week is probably optimal.
These little things make a huge difference in my weekly productivity. They seem like small tweaks, but the impact of these tweaks is felt during every hour of every day in the form of increased energy and alertness and mental productivity. This adds up to more income and more life enjoyment as well.
Try keeping a time diary for a month. It should help you discover things about yourself and your routines that will more than repay the time spent logging your life.
Building and Using a Time Diary [The Simple Dollar]