What is Time Mapping (And How It Improves Productivity)?

Macgill Davis

Time mapping is a technique that can help you get more done in less time. The basic premise is that you're going to map out how long it takes you to do every task, and then you're going to use that information to figure out how to spend your time more wisely.

Time mapping is also a process through which you can assess your project, understand how it will happen, and plan out the steps that have to happen in order for it to come to fruition.

When you time map, you go step-by-step through every process in your project. You might think of it as creating a checklist for yourself, or you might remember it as a flowchart that shows how processes relate to one another.

Benefits of Time Mapping

People often ask: does time mapping really help?

The answer is: yes, in so many ways!

In this world, we are always pressed for time. We have deadlines to meet and errands to run, and it's a miracle if you remember to eat. But with time mapping, you can take back control of your schedule. You can identify exactly where every minute of every day goes—and what you can do about it.

It's like a diet for your time management! When you see the numbers on paper (or screen) in front of you, you'll be able to make difficult decisions about when and how long to spend doing the things that matter most to you.

There are other benefits as well. Keeping track of time with time mapping helps you stay accountable and build trust with others, because they know exactly how much time was spent on projects/tasks.

Time mapping is an easy way to visualize your projects, so you can understand how much time you need to complete each task and which tasks are dependent on one another.

You know those times when someone asks you how long something will take, and you're just like "Ummm… I don't know? Should be quick?" Yup, we've all been there. It can be especially hard to estimate how long a project will take if it's a big project or if the steps aren't totally clear.But with time mapping, you can visually represent the different stages of your project, which means you have to make sure that each stage is as detailed as possible. This helps you break down the work into smaller steps and get more accurate estimates of how long each one will take.

Plus, when they're laid out visually, you can get a better sense of which tasks depend on other tasks being done first (called dependencies in project management lingo), so that you won't run into any delays along the way.

Time mapping also helps you develop discipline and personal responsibility as well as habits that support your long-term goals—even when it's hard. So get started today!

How to Time Map

There are a couple of strategies you could explore as you start to time map. The first strategy involves collecting data before beginning. This strategy is more useful if you want to plan your own time properly. Complete the following:

1. Collect data. Log your tasks for one week, and next to each task, note how long it took you to complete it.

2. Once you've collected your data, look at the tasks that take up most of your time—those are your "time suckers."

3. Take a look at those time suckers, and see if there's anything about them that could be changed or optimized. Maybe that meeting you have every morning could be shortened by 15 minutes, or maybe you don't really need to check your email so often.

4. Implement any changes you can, and then do another round of time mapping (at least one week) and see if they made a difference!

The second strategy is a good plan if you just want to get right in, or if you’re working with a team on a project. Here's how it works: get a sheet of paper/whiteboard/tablet and a timer. Set the timer for 15 minutes, and draw a line down the middle of your piece of paper.

In the first 7-8 minutes, write down everything you want to accomplish in the next two weeks. Everything! Don't limit yourself or think about whether or not it's possible. Just write it all down.

Then, for the next 7-8 minutes, go through what you wrote and put those items into one of two columns: "Daily" or "This Week."

Once you've done this exercise, go down your list and schedule when you're going to do each thing on the list of the “Daily” and “This Week” columns. You can change the daily and weekly columns to fit the needs of your team if it’s a project you’re working on. 


Rize is a time-mapping tool that helps users track their time in ways that improve productivity. If you've ever found yourself wondering where the day went, or if you have trouble focusing on tasks, Rize can help.

In order to increase productivity, it's important to understand how you spend your time. Most of us probably estimate how our time is spent poorly. Rize allows you to track and analyze how and where you spend every second of your work day. 

Rize also allows you to keep track of what distracts you the most: are there certain websites or apps that lead to a loss of focus? Are there people or situations that cause a decrease in productivity? With Rize, you can track all of these things so that you can figure out how to avoid them.

When it comes to increasing productivity, what matters is awareness of where your time goes and understanding how to improve it. Rize is here to make sure that nothing slips through the cracks!