I advise you for the last time before you start recording.

Before you are in high spirits, I may still have to throw a pot of cold water.

Have you figured out what you hope to gain from the time record?

Sometimes what you want to achieve doesn't have to be achieved through a time record. If you pay too much attention to form, you may take a detour.

For example, I used to consult Q students on time notes.

When I asked him what the purpose of keeping a time record was, he said, "I want to find out where my time is going through the time record."

Then ask me how to use the TimeTrack software, how to deal with the data, and so on, such as "HOW" and so on. I said don't rush to get on the tool.

Let's try the easiest way to solve your problem. I'll bring you a pen and paper.

He was asked to draw two pie charts. the first one divided the time into three parts: "sleep", "work" and "life". The second one asked him to recall the state of his life in the most recent week. which part of the time is spent more in these three parts?

Finally, Q drew it, which is something like figure 2. He said, "I work for 10 hours, sleep for 8 hours and live for 6 hours."

Then I asked, think again, what do you often do at work? Fill up the 10 hours of work proportionally, write no more than 3 of the most time-consuming things, and replace the rest with "other".

After thinking about it, he drew a new pie chart, marking two hours for sending and receiving email, two hour for PPT, one hour for meetings, and five hours for the other.

After splitting the work, I asked him to continue to split the "life" time in the same way as the working time block.

Then Q drew a distribution diagram like this.

I pointed to these pictures and said to Q, "Don't take any more notes, your problem has been found."

Q was a little confused at first, and he said, "Ah, is it as simple as that?"

I said yes, it's as simple as that. By combing through it, you have "seen" where your time has gone.

Work takes a lot of time: email, PPT, meetings.

Life takes a lot of time: movies and TV dramas, browsing mobile phones.

Even if you time with TimeTrack, the result is pretty much the same, but more accurate.

Quiet suddenly . I think if I don't explain a few words, Q will ask me for a refund😂.

Haha, I'm just kidding. What I'm trying to say is:

You don't have to use time records to find your most time-consuming part, because you know exactly what that part is, and you can find it just by imagination. The point is, even if you know it, you won't do it. So the problem is not "record" but "execution".

It is useless to know where your time is spent, but also to put forward your expectations and ideas for improvement, where you want you to spend your time, and then change it on the basis of your recorded time, and actively control the flow direction. This is what time recording is all about.

Using timing software such as TimeTrack can help you locate the problem more accurately, but there is no way to change it for you.

This is why I do not want you to ask "HOW" as soon as you come here, but to ask "WHY" first.

Once you delve into the methodology, it is easy to be frightened by the complexity, and it may not be suitable for you. Just like some students know that I am a 24-hour full-time record, and I also want to record it 24 hours a day, but for newcomers, the most important thing should be:

  1. Make it clear what time records are used for.

  2. Get into the habit of recording.

  3. Get a "sense of satisfaction" from the record

Imagine, if you were a primary school student who had just become interested in economics, and now you want to know more about economics, 《资本论》 and 《小岛经济学》, which one would you choose? If 《资本论》 is recommended, I am worried that you will be abused by passers-by from enthusiasts immediately.

Of course, if you have special talent, it is not impossible to "Difficult mode" when you come up.

Finally, let me summarize the simplest five steps of time recording:

  1. Clear goal: why do you want to record time.

  2. Draw a comparison between the actual time allocation and the expected time allocation.

  3. Start recording with pen and paper (whatever is convenient to use) and ignore the accuracy appropriately.

  4. Review time distribution regularly (day / week).

  5. Find the difference, write down the reason, and execute it.

It is not very precise, and the granularity of recording can range from 15 minutes to half an hour.

For example, there are common methods on the market:

  • 34 gold coins method

34 gold coins method, derived from @ Aili 《你一年的8760小时》.

The author divides 24 hours a day, excluding 7 hours of sleep, the remaining 17 hours into 34 and a half hours, each half hour represents a gold coin, the focus is to record time every half hour, rather than accurate recording, the theoretical corresponding software has the time block of iOS.

  • Deductive recording method.

My enlightening teacher, @ Zou Xin, the author of 《小强升职记》, advocates "guiding records". According to the large records of a period of time, such as the range of 1-2 weeks, locate large blocks of time, targeted improvement, tools are the second.

  • Subject recording method.

The topic recording method is a stripped-down version of the 24-hour full-time recording method, which records only a scene, such as only life or work.

This method is suitable for newcomers, starting with recording "the block of time you think should be changed most", cultivating a positive cycle of "recording, analysis and action" in this largest block of time, and giving priority to forming a habit.

There are many ways to use whichever you want, as long as you make sure that the record is true.

Looking back a few years ago, when I suddenly realized that time went by and I couldn't hold on to anything, I was desperate for a change, but I didn't even know where to start, so I tried to record the time and find out what the problem was.

This is an "action" that changed my life, from "I want" to "I will do it".

Today, I have the ability to share my experience in practice over the past few years and promote the time recording method to more people. I hope you can also escape the "strange circle of laziness" and let you install a "switch" for yourself and spur yourself.

Just do it! Don't be "the giant of thought, the dwarf of action."

A little bit of dream, a little bit of courage, to experience life in a new way, you deserve a better life!


If you just wait, the problem will not go away, what will happen is that you get older.