The Productivity Project Book: Why You Should Track Your Time

While I did not feature Chris Bailey’s book “The Productivity Project” on my 3 main books influences list article, it easily could have made an honorable mention coming in at #4. This book summed up what I read in so many other books and did it while getting right to the point. I still would recommend Getting Things Done to anyone looking to free up their mind and be more productive, but honestly if I read this book first, I don’t know how I would have felt about Getting Things Done, that’s how good it is considering GTD (Getting Things Done for short) is the book that sparked my interest in reading and becoming more organized/clear in my thinking.

Half of what Cents of Time aims to cover is, you guessed it, time, and this is something that the book really got me started on. I knew how important it was and how tracking your time could be a really eye opening experience if you did it for even a month. It was not until I heard Chris Bailey in the book talk about it that I realized how managing your time is so crucial to being productive that I decided to start tracking my own time. I will cover this in more detail in a future article about budgeting your time because that is another great example of how connected time and money really are. Just like you need a budget for your money, you need to budget your time. Especially since you can not get a raise with your time! It is 24 hours no matter what you do, but you can make better use of your time…which I guess is like getting a raise? Anyway….

Chris talks about managing your time, energy, and attention are the 3 keys to being productive.

Knowing where your time is going is half the battle, the other half is making better use of your time. For me I never had a good sense of time (see what I did there?). I was the one who was late for everything and always thought I could squeeze one more thing in. When I was planning out my day or going somewhere, I always imagined everything going perfect. If my best time to get somewhere was 15 minutes, well that’s how long it took to get there! Obviously that is not intelligent logic and I never gave myself any wiggle room in my schedule.

After I read the book I finally pulled the trigger on getting a smartwatch. Now the smartwatch I used more as a regular watch with smart features. I liked the ability to see notifications and being able to control media don’t get me wrong, but I loved it even more for setting timers and using it as a stopwatch (and just knowing the time in general). I really started to hold myself accountable and actually could see how long it took me to complete tasks that I repeated…and then add a buffer. Just like planning out a budget, if you don’t know how much you are going to spend, it is kind of hard to make a budget. The same is true for your time. If you don’t know how long something takes to do or have a realistic estimate of it, you will have a hard time accurately managing your time.

Chris has a new book called Hyper Focus coming out on August 28th. You can preorder it here and pick up his first book here. These are not affiliate links, I just really like Chris’s work and am excited for his new book. I have my copy on Audible preordered! His website is also a great reference for productivity hacks and tricks. You can find it at https://alifeofproductivity.com/welcome/.

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