What is a time map? A time map is a guide to your ideal week. There is time mapping software, but all you really need is a blank piece of paper and a pencil. You can time map general categories to lead a more balanced life or get a little more specific to include recurring appointments. I like to get specific and map out my weeks with what is on my schedule.
How do I start?
To start you will want either a blank piece of paper or a clean spreadsheet. Write down the days of the week across the top and the time you wake up in the upper left corner. Now, down the left column write down every hour until you go to sleep. Use this Time Map to get you started.
Fill in your recurring appointments
Now fill in all your recurring appointments. This would include items like networking events, work meetings, and sports practice. If you work outside of the home mark out the time you are at work with an “X”. You can now fill in the blank spots with chores, you time, and hanging out with your family.
Group like tasks together
One of the easiest ways to make it feel like you have more time in your day is to group like tasks together. Plan a specific day for errands. Define a laundry day and a shopping day. Don’t feel like you have to do this all on the weekends. Laundry can be done while watching your favorite shows mid-week or you can run errands after work on your way home.
What if I can’t stick to my plan
Don’t worry if you don’t follow your time map every week. Look at your time map as a guide and something that you are going to tweak on a regular basis as your needs change.
Need more help gaining control of your time? Check out my self-paced coaching program The Time Challenge.