Are You Really Productive? Take An Inventory Of Your Working Time

Are You Really Productive? Take An Inventory Of Your Working Time

Productive working time

You sit at your office or working table at your working hours, but do you really do something productive? – That’s a million dollar question, right?

With all the web-based tools and technologies and social networking tools/sites it is really hard to be productive these days. Sadly all those technological gadgets and apps were invented to make us productive.

In general we are often prone to be dragged by these sophistication and the ultimate victim is the our productivity. Even though we easily cast the blame on technological advancement, we are solely responsible for what we are able to achieve and what we are not able to achieve.

We are accountable for our time. I strongly believe that by having an inventory of how our time is spent, we can have more control over it.

Rather than getting frustrated over incomplete projects and worrying at the end of the day about not getting anything done, its better to analyze how our time is spent!

Here are some pointers to help you analyze your time!

Identifying essential Vs non-essential tasks

We come across various kinds of tasks in a given day. There are tasks that need to be done now or the sky will fall. There are tasks that are quite complicated but don’t have to be done right now.

But those complicated tasks need to be started right away so that you may proceed with the baby steps!

There are tasks that are quite simple, but might not need to be started and completed right now.

Only you know what tasks are important and need to be started right away and what tasks can be postponed for tomorrow or next week.

Stephen Covey’s four quadrants of time management come in handy to help you identify your essential and non-essential tasks!

Stephen Covey's four quadrants of time management

Having a systematic schedule (usually requires a strategy)

It is normally advisable to plan a thing ahead and depending upon its complexity/toughness it can be broken into easy-to-do pieces. Fix a time, place and a deadline for any task.

You cannot be creating a plan for each and every task; rather, having a time management strategy in place will help in having a systematic schedule.

Have a plan for your typical day. Have a routine.

Of course many people think that having a routine will be boring. But you can always by pass that feeling by breaking your routine on weekends; or if you’re a work-at-home lucky fellow, you can break your routine for any two of the week.

Delegating helps with productivity

This may sound too formal or big, but an individual (not only a company) can also outsource those task-bits that are beyond their expertise. Of course, this may not always be possible for everyone, but whenever possible, don’t hesitate to ask your friend/teammate/expertise.

Asking help from your family is the simplest and smallest form of delegation you can think of.

And you can go up to hiring Virtual Assistants, In-house assistants, Managerial staff, outsourcing tedious/boring tasks on Odesk, Fiverr etc.

Delegation helps free up a lot of your time where you don’t necessarily have to use your hands on a task. You give instructions to the person who helps you with it and then you move the task off your desk.


Hope these tips and the cheat sheet help you with being productive.


  1. says

    I will have to say that I am extremely unproductive these days. I am killing most of my time on Facebook and other social media. I tried a lot to stay away from these but not getting any success.

    Today I tried to stay away from these and I can say that today I did some work for my blog.

    Hope I will be out of this curse soon and back to action.

    Thanks for sharing these tips.

  2. says

    Thank you for that great post Jane! I bought Stephen Covey’ book years ago when it first came out and was very much influenced by him in organizing my work life … must admit that I haven’t looked it for a long time though.

    I have been unmotivated lately because of changes in my life so you dropped into my mailbox at a good time!


  3. Kingsley Agu says

    Well well, what can I say? I really want to thank you for writing this article up. I’m really having serious problems with leaving social media completely and focusing entirely on my writing.
    This post really taught me somethings I really need to get done.
    Like signing off from the internet while I want to work.
    I’ll try and keep on doing this, and I hope it pans out well at the end; because I seriously want to get myself back in order once again.

    Thanks Jane.

  4. says

    Great post Jane. I love the quadrant idea. It’s so easy to get distracted and bogged down with meaningless tasks. Time is precious and this will help anyone to manage their time more effectively.

  5. says


    I agree with you about systematic schedule; often we have decided your priority list of task, but we didn’t create a systematic time schedule of priority tasks. And it will be not possible to increase productivity and completed task in time without a proper time schedule. Overall i love your entire post.


  6. says

    As an employee, I always keep my time on track as there should be charged time at the end of the day. These are wonderful words and techniques my friend. Thank you for sharing these to us. Keep it up!

  7. says


    Jane for such a wonderful post, every body facing this in daily routine, but not able to implement , i am gonna share this slide , so other people can take the advantage.


  8. says

    I used to be guilty to be unproductive due to other things available in the internet which distract me and lead me to procrastinate. But I eventually realize things and learn how to help myself to be more productive. I became more disciplined with my work and I do evaluate myself at the end of the day if I have been productive.

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