Time auditing techniques for personal and professional excellence
According to the globally acclaimed management thinker, Peter Drucker,
“Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed, nothing else
can be managed”.
Today, time management practices are widely applied by managers. But
only a few of them undertake “time auditing techniques” aimed at
improving time management practices, on a continuous basis.
Time auditing means a review of how you have utilised your time for
the day? whether you have utilised effectively or not? What proportion
of your time was spent on very useful and productive activities? What
proportion of your time was spent on unproductive activities?
The best time to undertake a time audit is delta time. Do you wonder
before you retire to bed where the day has gone?
Adopting a constant self questioning attitude on your time management
practices towards the end of the day will help you to discover
improvements in time management. Time auditing will help you to achieve
so much more once you question the demands made on your time.
Time audit offers you two valuable insights as how to manage your
time more effectively in the future. First it helps you to identify your
plus points as well as minus points in managing your time. Secondly, it
also helps you to organise your time more effectively in the future for
your own advantage.
You can undertake a time auditing activity analysis by reviewing the
1. What proportion of the activities could have been avoided?
2. What proportion of time was spent on “minor episodes”?
3. What proportion of the time was logged as interruptions?
4. How many activities lasted longer than anticipated?
5. What proportion of the activities could have been carried out
without your active involvement?
Administration time covers time spent on clerical and routine work,
form filling, data manipulation, completion of expense returns, counter
signature of documents etc. Many of these activities could and should be
done by others.
Executive time is the time allocated for planning, exploring,
creative, thinking and deciding. The proportion of the time spent here
will account for the extent to which you add value. If you spend only a
few hours on this vital area of executive time, you have to allocate
more time for this important function.
Having performed such a time auditing exercise, you can now prepare a
time management plan for the next day. Therefore, a systematic appraisal
of your time management practices must be reviewed daily.
Have I completed all what I have planned? what went wrong? where did
I fail? How did I fail? why did I fail? Have I successfully solved the
problems of the day? Have I successfully taken the decisions for the
day? what should be my priority for tomorrow?
A systematic time audit on the above lines, on a daily basis, will
activate your mind and the brain and when you wake-up on the following
day, fresh ideas, new thoughts, new insights and new approaches will
flash in your mind to act in a dynamic fashion and make the next day and
the future days productive and profitable days.