How to Organize your Time — part 3

The next step in how to organize your time is to account for how you spend your time during the week. “Our mental picture of how we spend the hours can be quite different from the way we really spend them,” wrote the late Charles Hummel in his essay, “Tyranny of the Urgent.”

Hummel suggests making a simple time inventory chart by writing the days across the top and listing the hours down the page in half-hour segments. “At week’s end,” says Hummel, “count the hours spent on each activity and compare the totals with the list of priorities you made.” You’ll recall the first step in how to get organized is to decide what’s important to do each day and to postpone or reschedule the the rest.

You’ll discover by studying your time inventory chart for a week, that some of the things you’re doing take more time than necessary. By cutting back on some activities—let’s say time spent watching TV— you can save several hours a week and spend them doing what’s important.

Hummel suggests you budget your time like money. For example, you wouldn’t plan what to buy but where your money goes. Similarly, budgeting your time shows where your hours go. Then you can decide how to improve what you do with the time you have.

You might also be interested in reading the first two posts on this topic: How to Organize Your Time (part 2), and How to Organize your Time (part 1).

You can learn many more techniques on getting organized—in just a minute each—by reading the chapter titled “Tips on Organizing Your Job Hunt” in my new book, Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach.

Copyright ©2015 by Ransom (Randy) Place

About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.