I started re-reading Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive, and one of the first points he makes is that effectiveness begins with an understanding of where your time goes. I’ve read this and agreed with it many times, but for some reason, I’ve never actually implemented it. I’ve never actually kept track of where my time goes.
If I don’t do that, then I can’t assess if I’m actually using my time effectively. I can’t assess if I’m prioritizing appropriately. And, ultimately, I can’t adjust or improve. So, here goes. Here’s where my time went this week, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.*
- Meetings = 885 minutes
- Teaching = 150 minutes
- Writing = 100 minutes
- Grading = 180 minutes
- Administrative tasks = 60 minutes
- Writing student evaluations to go home to parents = 330 minutes
- Editing = 180 minutes
- Planning classes = 90 minutes
- Emails, drop-ins, unplanned urgent events, commuting between campuses = 300 minutes
- Lunch = 100 minutes
*I tend to work outside of these hours, as well, but I think it’s best, for the purposes of this experiment, to focus on what happens within the proverbial 40-hour workweek. As I become better at tracking my time, perhaps I will extend into mornings and evenings.