How to Do a Time Audit – Step-by-Step Guide

Are you tired of feeling like there are not enough hours in your day? Do you often find yourself wondering where all your time goes? If you answered a resounding yes to either of these questions, then it’s time for a time audit!

A time audit is a simple but effective way to handle how you spend your time. By tracking your activities for a week or more, you will be able to identify areas where you are wasting time and make changes to your routine accordingly.

For business and personal success, business owners and professionals need to learn to master time management skills in order to maximize their effort and outcome. 

However, it isn’t the easiest thing to do. But by using TimeCamp time tracking software, conducting your time audits becomes easy. With TimeCamp, you will quickly learn the specifics of how you are spending time, which will enable you to prioritize your hours on productive activities more, so you can achieve your goals.

Do your time audit with TimeCamp

This article discusses why a time audit is necessary and provides a step-by-step guide to performing a time audit. 

Let’s get started!

What is a time audit?

A time audit is a process of analyzing how you spend time so you can see what you are spending it on so you can improve your time management. 

You can do this type of audit by tracking your activities throughout the day for a certain time period, like five days, an entire week, or even a whole month. After your time audit, you’ll have a clear snapshot of where you’re directing your time and effort. 

Once you see how you’re spending most of each day, you can optimize your schedule and identify where you need to improve to increase your productivity or efficiency.

When you can track how you spend time, improve on it, and boost your productivity, this, in turn, helps you achieve more and reduces the pressure that comes with project execution, completion, and success.

Why is a time audit necessary, and who should perform it?

In 2017, Maui Mastermind evaluated the work habits of business owners, top executives, and employees. And they discovered that “more than 30% of their workweeks were spent on time-wasting, low-value, and no-value activities like checking social media.

In essence, it is a fact that many of us go about our weekdays with no particular plan or schedule, unaware of what we spend time on. At the same time, many tend to lag on assigned tasks or projects and are clueless about what to do to improve their time management. 

In this case, a time audit is a solution to quickly know how and what you spend your hours on.

A time audit is necessary for any organization to ensure that its time management practices are practical and efficient. 

You may want to ask who should perform the time audit process. In our opinion, you should perform your own time audit, or if you are a team manager, you should conduct it with your team member.

Only you can discover the specifics of how each minute and hour was spent.

Everyone else is busy trying to meet up with their deadlines and tasks. So, assigning another person to do it for you will be pretty daunting and ineffective for most people.

With that said, here are some reasons why a time audit is necessary:

  • It will help you identify time-wasting operations to focus on more productive tasks.
  • It will help boost your productivity.
  • It will help you reach your goals and targets.

What do you need to run a time audit?

The tool you need to run a time audit will depend on how you want to conduct the audit. If you plan to run an audit over one month, using a software solution would be more helpful.

Following that, here is a list of tools you need to run a time audit:

  • Time tracking software
  • A comprehensive to-do list
  • A calendar of what to expect during the time audit

Basic steps to running a time audit

Before you perform a time audit, there are some things you need to note:

  • Pick a “normal” week to run the audit.
  • Do not conduct an audit in a week when you’re filling in for an absent coworker.
  • Do not conduct an audit midway through the holiday season.
  • Do not conduct an audit when you’re about to go on vacation.
  • Do not conduct an audit when you’re having a conversation with your biggest client.
  • Make sure that you only track a “standard” workday. If you’ve got a ton of infrequent meetings or will be out of the office for a while, you should reschedule your first-time audit for a typical working day

With that said, here’s a step-by-step list of conducting a time audit:

Step 1: Write down your most important tasks for the week

to do list

Most people understand the importance of setting goals. After all, without goals, it can be challenging to measure progress and achieve success. But what many people don’t realize is that it’s just as important to track your goals. 

By writing down your essential weekly goals, you can track your progress and how much time you spend on them. 

For instance, instead of setting a goal to eradicate all distractions, which sounds pretty vague, you can set goals to spend less time each week on Slack or your email. 

If you frequently use a to-do list to keep track of your projects or goal, it will be helpful to use apps like Asana or Google Calendar, which integrate seamlessly with time-tracking apps like TimeCamp.

Writing down your most important goals for the week and using time-tracking apps like TimeCamp will help you adjust your behavior accordingly, stay focused on your goals, and progress towards them.

Step 2: Use a time-tracking tool or alarm

productivity report
TimeCamp productivity report



There are several ways to track your time on various tasks and projects. You can use time-tracking software or a simple alarm clock to keep track of the time you spend on each task. 

However, it is more efficient to use a time-tracking app like TimeCamp to get an accurate view of where your time goes. You can use the app to track daily activities that take up your workdays, such as commuting, client calls, lunch meetings, breaks, and emails. 

The app will help you create a report at the end of the week that provides an accurate picture of your activities. Also, unlike manual alarms, apps like TimeCamp have a built-in alarm system to help you stay on track. 

Once you have a good idea of where your time goes, you can start to look for ways to optimize your schedule. Maybe you can find ways to cut down on the time you spend on certain tasks, or maybe you can delegate some of your work to others. 

Either way, a time audit can help you make better use of your time and be more productive.

You can get started with TimeCamp 14-day free trial. It supports unlimited users on the mobile or desktop app to track your time and generate your time reports automatically.

Step 3: Repeat for five consecutive days or more

There can always be events that could affect your results on a single day. Hence, it is essential to repeat the process of tracking for at least five consecutive days to gather a sizable amount of data that gives you an accurate, robust audit.

How to interpret the results of a time audit?

Now that you know how to perform a time audit on hours let’s quickly discuss what to look for and how you interpret the results.

Here is what to do:

1. Analyze how you spend your time

analyzing time spent on a project

When the time auditing is done with the aid of time-tracking app like TimeCamp, you should have a general idea of what a few typical days look like for you. Analyze how you spend time and divide it into categories such as time-wasting activities and high-priority activities.

Time-wasting activities are activities that do not help you achieve your goals. These activities can include watching television, browsing the internet, or chatting on the phone. 

High-priority activities are tasks that are important to your success. These activities can include working on a project, attending a meeting, or conducting research.

Note your observations so you can take steps to improve how you prioritize your hours.

For instance, you might discover in your audit that, despite having urgent work due by the end of the week, you wasted three hours scrolling on LinkedIn during the week. 

You might also realize that some of the operations you perform should be assigned or that you dedicate significant amounts of time to a single task daily.

You can create smarter daily schedules to achieve your assignments by identifying time-wasting actions and high-priority tasks. 

👉 Check also our article about daily schedules: 12 Daily Schedule Template Ideas

Plan and prioritize your work

businessman busy performing multitasking work

When you have gathered all of the data from your time audit exercise, and have analyzed it, create an action plan that will prioritize your most important assignment, and eliminate any activity that keeps you from your priorities.

First, look at your overall work daily schedule and identify areas where you can make changes. For instance, if the majority of your time should be spent on content writing, make writing the content your top priority. If you should not spend time on social media sites, make social media the least priority or obliterate it.

Once you have identified some areas for improvement, you can start prioritizing your work. Perhaps you can start with the important tasks and work on the less important ones later. Or maybe you can group similar jobs so that you can complete them more efficiently.

To help you prioritize your work, consider using an Eisenhower matrix that categorizes daily tasks based on how urgent and important they are so you can use your time more wisely. The matrix is divided into four quadrants:

  • Quadrant 1: Important and urgent tasks
  • Quadrant 2: Important but not urgent tasks
  • Quadrant 3: Urgent but not important tasks
  • Quadrant 4: Not important, not urgent

Planning and prioritizing your work and hours will help you focus your time and effort on activities that are most crucial to you and help you be more productive in achieving your goals.

👉 Check also our article: How to prioritize work when everything’s important?

Wrapping up

An essential component in successful task execution is in being able to track and manage time efficiently. Time management is a critical skill for anyone looking to succeed in their personal and professional lives. A time audit will help you understand where your time is going so that you can create smarter habits around your daily, weekly, or monthly routine.

In conclusion, since time management is an ongoing process, we recommend that you take the time to do a regular audit to help you make the most of your time and boost productivity.

By following the steps in this article, you can easily find areas where you can save time by using time-tracking apps like TimeCamp, which provides project managers and companies across all sectors with seamless time tracking and reporting of their project activities. 

TimeCamp has a Free plan that supports unlimited users on either the mobile or desktop app.

Get started today by trying out a 14-day free trial.

How to Do a Time Audit – Step-by-Step Guide

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