Yesterday we did the hard work of listing out all of the work we do within our business under two headers, CEO work or employee work. If you didn’t do that yet or you haven’t listened to that episode (127), go check it out now and come back! Because today we are going to talk about conducting your time audit.
Yes, I know. Ugh. Time audit. Who likes those? Doesn’t it just sound scary? Are you almost to the point where you don’t even want to listen to this episode because it just sounds so laborious and time-consuming? I get it! But stick with me. I promise it’s going to be worth it!
You need to do this time audit because while you have a list of your work, you don’t know how much time you are spending on each function. One list may be longer than the other, but just because there are more “to-dos” on one side, doesn’t mean that’s where you are spending the bulk of your time. This is why you need the time audit.
Here is what I want you to do. Spend time today, about an hour, with your calendar. I want you to take ALL of the items you listed on your worklist from yesterday and I want you to put all of those functions on your calendar. Yes, I want you to officially schedule them. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, it doesn’t matter. Whatever the function is and how long you think you take to do it, put it on your calendar. I want you to do this for every single workday for the next two weeks. Yes, two weeks. Map it out. Invest the time now, the results are going to be so impactful!
Tomorrow, go through your day just as you have it listed on your calendar. Also, find a piece of paper, use a note app on your phone, whatever you prefer, but use the same method for the next two weeks to write down two key pieces of information:
–anything that comes up in your day that wasn’t on your calendar and how long you spent on it
–anything that took longer than what you scheduled or less than what you scheduled
Can you just make these adjustments to your calendar? Yes, but sometimes adding and adjusting the calendar is painful so minimally keep a list.
At the end of the two weeks, look back on the calendar and your notes. What did you learn? Are you doing tasks and work that you didn’t have listed on your “work list?” Did you discover patterns with employees needing you or customer issues that you can solve? No doubt you did find some patterns and some misses.
Now for the big reveal. Total up all of the hours for every function you listed under the “CEO work” header and then do the same for all of the functions you would qualify as “employee work.” Now, you did this over a 2-week period, so divide those totals by 2. This should give you the average for a workweek.
Where are you spending your time? How much time are you spending being the CEO and how much time are you spending being an employee? No doubt this is eye-opening!
So now the next question for you is, how fast could you grow your business if you weren’t the rate-limiting step? What if you could hire someone to do all of the employee work for the number of hours you need them each week? Because guess what? Now you know the work you need them to do AND you know how many hours a week you need them. 🥳
You can then decide, once you remove employee work from your schedule, if you want to fill that time back up with CEO work or if you want to hire someone to help with that too, such that you can cut back on working all of these hours during a workweek. You have choices! This time audit gave you clarity on where you’re spending your time, what you need to hire for, and it gave you choices. Totally worth the effort, right?