Productivity gurus have plenty of great advice to offer, but the one thing they often miss is the importance of time tracking. Tracking your time both at work and at home can help you identify where you need to improve, or which activities are killing your productivity throughout the day. Time is an incredibly valuable resource that is often undervalued and overlooked. Here’s what they don’t tell you about time tracking.
It’s Absolutely Crucial
Tracking your time is absolutely crucial to improving productivity and efficiency. If you don’t know what’s killing your productivity, how can you ever change it? By focusing on which activities take up the most time during your day, you can gain further insight into how to cut down on their time-costs and improve your overall productivity.
Not tracking time is like not tracking your weight loss progress or even your money. There are certain things that simply must be tracked to ensure you’re getting the results you want, and time is no exception. After all, time is one of the greatest resources human beings have at their disposal, and using it wisely is critical to a happy, productive, work and personal life.
Take steps to introduce a time-tracking process into your life so you can truly understand where you’re spending the most time. What activities do you do that you can reduce? What takes up most of your time during the day? The least amount of your time? Reflection is the best way to improve in any area of your life.
Time tracking is so simple nowadays that you don’t even have to do it manually anymore! With so many apps and software programs available at our disposal, you’ll be able to find one to help track your time and meet your specific needs or goals, whether you’re just an individual or a large business.
Many time tracking apps work off of a simple concept: turning on the tracker when you start your project and turning it off when you’re done. The information is then stored in the software, and if you’ve chosen one of the more advanced programs that utilize AI, will be used to help you plan future projects and provide more accurate numbers.
Automatic time tracking is especially useful for managers of remote teams, as manual time tracking can become a hassle if someone is being dishonest or doesn’t update their time cards daily. It can be exhausting to constantly ask remote team members to keep you updated on how much time they spend on each project, and the numbers may often be inaccurate.
Luckily, most time tracking software works across all platforms and is usually cloud-based, so no matter where your team members are at in the world, you’ll always be in touch and updated with accurate time counts. This can make invoicing and payroll much simpler and less of a hassle for your bookkeeper and client(s).
Time is an Undervalued Resource
As valuable as time may be, it’s often something that’s overlooked. Time is something everyone has, and although tomorrow isn’t certain, what we do know is that we have time right now. Time is a resource that is infinitely profitable because you can do almost anything with it. You can learn new skills, make money, meet new people, explore new places; time is the most important resource available to us as individuals and businesses.
If you don’t track your time, you can never be sure how to better spend it. If you’re in business and you don’t track time, you’re likely losing money to processes that could easily be identified as time/productivity killers. Don’t underestimate the importance of your most valuable asset!
Accountability is Important to Productivity
To ensure productivity, you need accountability. This means either with yourself or your team or both if you’re the team leader. Accountability ensures that everyone is doing their part to maximize the time they’re given to complete projects. They’re held responsible for their successes and failures alike, which can improve their personal integrity and sense of accomplishment.
If you aren’t holding yourself or your team accountable, you’ll likely get a lot of excuses for why things aren’t being done. Excuses sound best to the people making them, and often they’re laced with half-truths or blatant lies. You want to hold people accountable so that they remain honest. Honesty creates a sense of trust between you and your team and can help foster the types of relationships you want to build with them.
Don’t be afraid to utilize the dozens of tools for tracking time that are available on the web. There are tools to fit every need and budget, so you won’t have to spend a fortune to get control of the time you’re losing every day to inefficient projects or teams. Hold yourself and your team equally accountable, and you’ll find that your productivity and efficiency both increase.
Remember that time is your greatest resource and should be treated as such. Using time tracking tools, you can analyze what’s costing you precious moments on a daily basis and work to address these issues in both your work and personal life. Saving time is just as valuable as saving money, and is nearly the same in concept. Analyze, identify, plan, and implement. Don’t forget to access the wealth of time tracking tools the web has to offer!