We use multiple tools to determine our effectiveness and try different types of software to improve and track our processes. This simple tool, developed by Alec Mackenzie and Pat Nickerson in their book The Time Trap, will help you find another day in your week.

How to Use It

Download the Timelog, print it out to keep next to you. I prefer to use a pen or a pencil rather than typing this into my laptop. I find it more tactile and frankly faster – and as a result, I find it much easier to just do it.

Download The Timelog


Start With Your 5 Most Important Goals

At the start of each day, determine the 5 most important goals for the day.

Then rank those goals in the order of 1 to 5 with 1 being the most important, with a time deadline for each. If your most important goal is going to take the entire day, then focus on that until completion. This can be mentally challenging given that we naturally feel drawn to other lessor tasks to be able to tick some items off and get progress. If this is the case, break the most important goal into smaller goals.

Insights From Using The Timelog

The magic that comes from using this tool is in the next step: tracking everything you are doing, in particular every time your attention is distracted away from your main task.

If you are like the vast majority of people you will be astonished at how frequently this happens during the day as we fight off digital and other distractions.

The other insight is usually how late in the day it is before you tackle your major goal.

I first used this as an audit tool and found that giving this a go for a week increased my productivity significantly.

Now I use it every day.

“An extra day a week of productivity is absolutely possible using this approach, which cumulatively makes an incredible difference over a year”