A time log template manifests its use in many activities in a work environment as it helps you keep track of time. For instance, if you attend an event, you would have to sign in when before entering and then sign out before you leave. This is just one example of this template and there are many other useful applications which are beneficial to both the employee and employer.

Time Log Templates

What is a time log?

Simply defined, a time log sheet is a document that you consistently edit and update. It represents a chronologically arranged sequence of activities that you did or are planning to do. Its main function is to record the time that you spend on performing a specific task.

A time log template is a very useful document if you want to keep track of the progress of the tasks and the overall productivity. This document is typically used in many companies. For many of us who work, we must maintain a log of when we get to work, when we take our lunch breaks, when we get back, and when we leave work.

There are even companies that require their employees to maintain logs of the projects they are currently involved in. For instance, an office assistant might have to fill out this document when they reply to emails, answer phone calls deal with clients, and more.

This is also a document where employees take note of the exact times when they began an assignment and when they finish it. This, in return, helps employers keep track of employee productivity and consequently, they can award incentives for the times employees have spent working.

Aside from this, the document can also help employers keep track of employee progress on certain activities and assignments. In other words, the log can help both employers and employees keep an accounting of valuable time that should be properly used for important activities.

Daily Time Log

How do you make a time log?

Whether it’s big or small business, a time log template is an important tool for time management. You can see the importance of this document when you find it particularly difficult to accomplish your tasks within a given span of time or if you’re prone to distractions.

Having a daily time log helps you identify potential areas that require improvement and give you a visual overview of how you spend your time every day. Here are the steps to do this:

  • Create a sample time log of an “average day”
    You can either do this manually or you can avail of a time management software. Use only one page for each day.
  • Make a list of your daily tasks at the top
    Every task should have a column of its own. You don’t have to include simple daily chores unless these are an essential part of your job. Create a column at the end of your list for activities you consider “time wasters.”
  • Indicate the hours of the day
    Each hour block that you spent at work must have a row of its own. If necessary, you can split hours into half-hour blocks, depending on your work and your normal task schedules. Begin with the hour you report for work then add as many rows as needed to complete your workday.
  • Add your daily activities
    Each time you work on a certain task, jot down notes on the block on your log that corresponds to the task. Should you start work later in the hour, only fill in a part of the block. Do this each day for at least 5 days – use a new log sheet every day. From these, you can determine the average time you spend on each of your tasks.
  • Include the time-wasters too
    You should also log the times you spend doing activities that aren’t relevant to your work like reading personal emails, surfing online or not anything that isn’t part of your work. Use the column that you added for time-wasters to jot down hours or half hours that you spend doing all of these activities.
  • Analyze the data in your log and interpret it
    From the information you have recorded on your log, you can determine how much time you spent working, the duration of each task on average, and the amount of time that you waste each day. With these results in hand, you can now plan your days accordingly, allocating ample time for each task, and reduce the amount of time wasted.

Time Logging Sheets

How can I track my time?

Consider the following steps on how you can track your time more effectively using a time log sheet:

  • Bring the log with you no matter where you go
    You might have a good memory but more often than not, you can’t remember everything. Don’t wait until the last hour of work to try to reconstruct what you have accomplished each hour of the day from memory.
  • Record the start and end times of all your activities
    In your time log template, take note of the time you start a task and the time you stop. From there, you can determine the total duration you need for each activity. Take note while doing this that you’re already raising awareness of how you spend your time.
  • Be as detailed and specific as possible
    As an example, do not just jot down “working.” Be more detailed in your entries by jotting down the specifics of each task.
  • Add categories and sub-categories as needed
    Creating categories gives you a better overview of how you spend your time at work. You can further break these categories into sub-categories to make each activity more specific. This method helps you identify which categories take too much time and which one you’re ignoring.
  • Write your feelings down as you perform each of the tasks
    Here, you just have to write down what you feel when performing a certain task – does the task make you feel resentful, happy, stressed, bored, guilty, anxious, distracted, overwhelmed, energetic, and so on. Although this is an optional step, you might as well keep track of how you feel for the tasks you perform each day.
  • Include a “Notes” section to keep track of everything
    Your log should have a “Notes” section where you describe an activity as to whether it’s low, medium or high-impact, among others.