I’m assuming that on a somewhat regular basis, you finish up after a hard day/week/quarter and you feel exhausted but you’re just not sure where your time went or what you got accomplished. Depending on your rep assignments and manager, you may also be fielding many questions about why you can’t take on additional work/meetings/projects/etc.
I set out to give you a hand with that.
Download the file in this post and have a look. It will, by category, give you a simple way to see where all your time is going during the day.
Here’s what I recommend you do:
- Download the file and put it somewhere on your system where you’ll see it several times throughout the day
- Put a 0-minute calendar entry at 4p every day to remind you to finish logging your time for the day
- Every time you come across the file in your daily activities, simply input the time usage up to that point in the day
- Record entries in no more that 15 minute intervals (enter a .25 in the spreadsheet). Don’t get crazy
- Rinse and repeat until the month is out and then tally the results
You’re going to see two things emerge right away:
- You’re not spending as much time with customers as you thought you were (real work)
- Going through the exercise gives you incentive to focus on your high-value activities
You probably won’t want to share it with anyone after the first time through. That’s cool. Try it again next month and see if you can get it more in line with something you’d be proud of. THEN share it with your manager or reps. Preface it like: “FYI, I found this tool here at this website and gave it shot, thought you might be interested in the output. I’d really like to be spending more time doing X, but a lot of my time is being taken up by Y. We should chat about that next 1:1…”
That is absolutely SE Management GOLD, and a great way to demonstrate seniority.
Some initial targets to shoot for (that I’m completely guessing at right now based on a few calendar reviews):
- 50% customer-facing activities (first 4 columns)
- 25% competency
- 25% admin/other
I think all of us would LOVE to get that % to 80/10/10, I just don’t see that as realistic.
As much as I know you’d like to mandate this across your team, I would refrain. Your team will be pissed off and wonder what your real motivation is. Best case you get 100% compliance but you won’t be able to trust the results. Better to find a casual way to drop it in conversation that you saw the tool, or maybe go to your top guy and ask if he alone would do it as a side project for some drinks or dinner out.