Tracking – Data is all in how you display it

Judith Meyer advocates tracking the hours you spend studying.  I’ve been experimenting.

1.  Plain Yay or Nay.



Simple.  Did you, or didn’t you, put in the time you said you would?  Glosses over the details and struggles.  As long as you met your goal, gives a pretty rosy picture of encouragement.  Making it public increases pressure to meet goals.

2.  Stickers for tasks met.

Give yourself a sticker for each type of task you do.  Put on a calendar, shows trends and gives encouragement.


3.  Checklist with weekly tasks.

If put in order of importance, this can be a reminder each time you glance at it where you intend to spend your time.  Easily shows gaps if you were intending to work on a project every day.


4.  Hours spent

A daily log of hours actually spent on each task.  If can be a way to identify disproportional allocation of time, and allow for adjustments in future to make time for higher priority items.

5.  Spider chart

Track the hours spent over weeks.  Volume of chart shows total hours worked over time.

spider chart

6.  Days behind or ahead of schedule


7.  Progress report

List the tasks, deadlines, action required, and a dot which shows whether it is completed, on track, or delayed.


8.  Task list with the number of hours should as different size bubbles.


9.  Bubbles for each tasks.  Status is denoted by color:  orange – not effective, grey, black – highly effective.  Importance of task is denoted by size of circles, with small circles for low priority and large circles for high priority


10.  Scheduling out tasks on a project plan by weeks.  Show inter-dependencies.  List milestones.


11.  Action wall.  Put all the work you need to accomplish up on a wall with post-its or sheets of paper, to give the bigger picture.



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