Yep, maybe it hearkens back to my lawyering days, when you lived or died by your billable hours, but if I keep a timesheet of how I’m spending my day, I seem to get a lot more productive work done.
Earlier this year I made up a schedule for myself, intended to keep me organized and on track by allotting a certain amount of time each week for the various committments I have. That lasted maybe a week before I wasn’t even really looking at it anymore. However, I decided to keep a timesheet for a week or so, because I really felt that I was falling prey to a lot of time demands that were interfering with my writing. I wanted to see what was sucking away all my time.
The discovery that timekeeping keeps me on track was only a happy coincidence. However, since I’ve made it, I’ve seen a big difference.
I’m not using anything fancy–printed sheets with a simple table I made in OpenOffice, to keep track of time blocks and what I’m doing in them. That’s it. It’s early days yet, but so far it’s working better than anything else I’ve tried. If you have difficulty keeping on task and on track, something similar might work for you.