How to Keep a Time Log

by ianmckenzie on April 1, 2014

One of the simplest time-management tools is a daily time log. By selecting a typical week and gathering data on your daily routine, you can find areas where you could improve your use of time.

Instructions For Keeping Daily Time Log

Gather Data:

Keep a daily time log for one week. This will provide accurate information for you to improve your use of time. Be honest and attentive to detail.

Analyze Your Use of Time:

Working with the data gathered, analyze your current use of time. List opportunities for improvement.

Action Plan:

From your analysis, develop specific action plans to bring about the desired improvement in your use of time.


Six weeks after beginning your time management improvement effort, assess your progress, and determine what work still needs to be done.


  • Select a typical week, (i.e., avoid vacation, sick leave, personal leave, holiday, etc.)
  • Record activities at least every half hour. Be specific. For example, identify visitors and record duration and topics of conversations. (Be honest. Only you will have access to this information.) •
  • Write a comment on each activity. Did something take longer than usual? Why? Were you interrupted?
  • At the end of the day note whether this day was typical, busier than usual, or less busy than usual.

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