Keep a time log. If you've ever tried to lose weight, you may have tried keeping a food journal. Sure, you're eating grilled chicken for dinner, but the eight M&M's you grab from the receptionist's candy jar add up, too.
Like tracking meals, tracking time keeps us from spending it mindlessly or lying to ourselves about what we do with it. Write down what you're doing as often as you remember for at least a week. Add up the totals. Checking Facebook five times a day at six minutes a pop adds up to two and a half hours in a workweek — curiously, the exact amount of time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends we exercise.
The first step to being more time efficient is to assess how you're currently spending your time. Track your time by making a note of when you stop or start an activity in a notepad or spreadsheet. There are even apps that will help you keep track of time. When you're analyzing the data, try to gauge if you're really using up all your nine to five hours doing actual work. If you've been spending time on unnecessary work, maybe it's time to start delegating the task to someone else or finding some other alternative solution. And if you figure out your most productive time of the day, you should probably schedule the more challenging tasks for that time period.