Where does the time go?
One would guess, looking at my blog, that I'm a real data nerd. I'm really not, but I do see the value in tracking certain information in order to be more efficient and effective in my job.
At the start of the school year I posted about my SMART goal to provide more parent outreach. I mentioned in that post that I was also going to start using a time tracker. I know there are several commercially available trackers, but since I'm never happy unless I'm reinventing the wheel, I made my own.
I'd never used spreadsheets in either Excel or Numbers. The learning curve for Google Sheets was steep. I figured out a lot through trial and error, and when I couldn't figure it out I asked the people at our iSchool. I now have a totally customized spreadsheet that has only the general headings and sub-categories I want. The set-up makes sense to me and I made it pretty, which means I don't dread using it.
We're now halfway through the year, and I've faithfully spent 5-10 minutes at the end of every day entering my numbers. All I have to do is type the number of minutes I spent in each category. (I round them to 5-minute increments because I'm not that anal-retentive). The spreadsheet is set up to automatically add up each row, column, and general heading. At the end of the year, I'll be able to easily compile it into a colorful pie chart to share.
Here's a link to a copy of my spreadsheet so you can see how I set it up. I've had to disable the sharing option, but at least you can use my example as a jumping-off point for your own.
So far I'm noticing some things that I wouldn't have noticed without tracking my time (like I actually do manage to get some planning time most days even though it feels like I never get my prep). You may also be surprised what you learn (and so might your administrator). Give it a try.
5/15/2017 01:51:07 pm
What program did you go use to make your brochure? It looks great!
5/15/2017 03:19:28 pm
Hi Leah, Do you mean my school counseling brochure for parents? I just use Pages (the equivalent of Word) on my MacBook. I know other programs would probably make life easier, but I don't want to bother learning them. I've been designing everything in Pages for uears.
10/10/2017 08:03:08 am
When using this spreadsheet are you just adding the time in minutes that you did each section each day??
10/10/2017 09:20:09 am
Yes, I just enter the total number of minutes. I jot down a quick note to myself during the day with any unscheduled crises or consults I did and how long they took. If it's something major, I'll make note of it in the comment line on the spreadsheet itself too.
5/6/2019 09:15:06 am
Hi, I am wondering what the numbers at the very bottom of your time tracker indicate?
7/15/2019 05:23:31 pm
9/17/2019 08:11:51 am
How do you create graphs using the data you collected for the time tracker?
9/23/2019 08:40:58 am
How do you go about creating the time tracker?
9/25/2020 01:03:50 am
Thanks for this tracker. May I ask permission to modify as we do not track time spent for the service but number of students serviced.
9/25/2020 03:34:41 pm
5/12/2022 10:17:03 am
What does SAC mean on your sheet?
1/2/2023 06:31:46 pm
Awesome bloog you have here
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