Whether it’s tracking your food or tracking your time, keeping a close eye on your activities can help you streamline and improve everything you do. You want an example? Here’s how tracking activities can help you lose weight, and keep reading to find out how you can use the same concept to help increase your productivity.
How tracking activities helps you lose weight
In 2008 the American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a study of over 1,600 overweight or obese U.S. adults. While the participants lost an average of 5.9 kilograms (13 pounds), the AJPM found that the most powerful predictor of weight loss was how many days each week people were keeping track of their food intake.
Those who kept food records six days a week — jotting down everything they ate and drank on those days — lost about twice as much weight as those who kept food records one day a week or less
Exactly the same concept that helped these people lose weight can help you work more efficiently.
Benefits for tracking your time
Keeping track of your time helps you become more productive, and helps to reduce the risk of multitasking. As soon as you start accounting for your time, you’ll inevitably become more aware of how you’re spending it. The simple process of tracking the time you spend on things during your day, including all time wasters like social media, email, water-cooler conversation breaks, will dramatically increase your productivity.
So how do you do it?
The goal is to keep track of how long you spend on each particular task during your day. As a freelancer I use a great free tool called Toggl to track my time. This includes everything from business related activities like development work, admin and social marketing through to domestic duties like the laundry. The very knowledge that my goings on are being timed is motivation enough to keep myself working efficiently. Doing this every day means at the end of the day I can see exactly how long I was productive for, and keep on top of my tendency to procrastinate.