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Sometimes, it can be hard to determine when you’re spending too little or too much time on an activity.

Maybe you want to focus on things that will help you reach your goals, or you are having trouble fitting in appointments or classes.

Or perhaps you would like to spend more time searching for a job.

In this video, you will use special formatting to change the colors of cells in your spreadsheet according to how much time you’ve spent on an activity.

This will make it easier to see the balance between what you have to do and what you want to do.

To change the colors of particular cells, you will use conditional formatting.

For example, you can make a cell turn red if you spend more than 2 hours on a particular task.

This can help you identify tasks you’d like to spend less time on.

Or, you can make a cell turn green if you spend less than thirty minutes on a task.

You may want to spend more time on that activity.

To start, choose an activity you’d like to limit, like spending time on social media or watching TV.

Set a goal to limit how much time you spend on that activity.

This example will create a conditional formatting rule that says, if the value in the ‘hours’ cell is more than one, change the color of the cell to red.

This will tell you if you are spending more than 1 hour on that activity.

For your project, choose any number and color you would like.

Set the rule to format the cells if the value is greater than the number you choose.

Then, select the formatting style.

You can choose from the default options, or create your own custom color.

The color change acts as a warning when you spend too much time on that activity.

Then you can decide if you should limit the activity.

Next, choose an activity you’d like to spend more time on, like sleeping, if you don’t think you get enough sleep, or activities that will help you in your job search.

To show you when you could spend more time on this activity, create a second rule that says, if the value in the ‘hours’ cell is less than the number you choose, change the color of the cell to a color you choose.

This example will format the cell to change color if the value is less than 4.

Finally, choose a color.

If you keep updating your time-tracking spreadsheet, these conditional formatting rules will help you manage your time more effectively.

Choose an Extension
Create a Time-Tracking Template

Copy, paste, and delete cells to create a blank time tracking template.

Activities Drop-Down List

Use data validation to create a list of activities you can use for tracking.

Conditional Formatting for Time

Use conditional formatting to change the color of a particular activity if it takes too much time or not enough.


Learn more about managing your time in Google Sheets with these extensions.