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What do you and Warren Buffett have in common?

TEFFEN, ISRAEL - SEPTEMBER 18: American billio...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Your calendar and your clock.

That's right. 

Warren's calendar and clock are exactly the same as yours.

Even with billions... Warren can't buy more months in a year or more hours in a day.

Yup... Time is the world's even playing field.

And although we all get the same amount, everyone seems to want more.

But since we can't get more... the key is to spend it more effectively.

Now, in today's world, there are some options to help with this.

As some of us think about becoming more effective with our time... we dream of hiring help... maybe a real or virtual assistant (ala Tim Ferris's 4-hour Work Week).  Some of us want to automate.  You know... go high tech with a new electronic gadget or new freaky cool scheduling software.

All of that is fine, but I suggest starting this process with a taking a "snap shot."

That's right. 

Start by figuring out where your time is currently going.  That will enable you to figure out how to improve.

Get started by downloading this simple time tracking grid that I use with some of my coaching clientsDownload Kick Coaching - Time Tracking Sheet

Now... I can imagine that some of you are saying... "Hold on.  I have my planner.  I know where I am spending my time."

Yes, you do.  However, if you are like most people, your daily calendar shows you where you were supposed to spend your time, or where you wanted to spend your time, but it won't give you the full picture. 

This grid allows you to go deeper.

It allows you to figure out EXACTLY where you are spending your time... minute by minute.

It will help you to track the scheduled meetings as well as the impromptu chats interruptions and Internet surfs.

Yup, this grid will give you a more accurate snap shot of how you spend each day.

I know... I know... this is a scary thought for some... but this is the only way for you to come up with a more effective plan to move towards the D.D.A.E. of more effective time management!  (That's figuring out what you can DO, DELEGATE, AUTOMATE or ELIMINATE!)

Give it a try. 

And as you do, don't filter.  Don't try to pretty it up.  If you lose track of time and spend 15 minutes talking to a friend... write it down.  If you wind up doing something off task... track it. 

(NOTE: You'll need to come up with abbreviations for things.  There's not a lot of space to write and that's intentional.  Just develop a key that will allow you to jot things down and record them, without feeling like you need to write a novel each time!)

Then, in my next post, I'll offer some solutions that will help you spend that time more effectively by figuring out your "D.D.A.E. Equation!"

Okay... start tracking that time... and then... next time... we'll figure out how to do more of what you want and need to do... and less of the rest!

By the way, it probably took you about three minutes to read this... and I'm hoping you thought it was time well spent!

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Nice post Mitch. I will bet that Warren does not have a long "to do" list each day like many of us attempt. I suspect he has narrowed his list of meetings, phone calls, and action items only to those that will have the most impact and then has the discipine to stick to that agenda.

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