How much time are you spending on tasks in the office? How long does it take you to get through your emails—and how often are you checking them throughout the day? How long do you spend procrastinating on Facebook? Those who track their time will be able to answer me with one quick glance.
I can tell you that I used to spend 50% of my day procrastinating. I’d be on Facebook when I wouldn’t need to be or look through YouTube videos that had nothing to do with work.
Tracking my time helped me realize just how much time I was wasting. I used to track my time every day a few years ago but fell out of the habit of it these last 10 months or so. Well, now I’m back to tracking how I used every minute of my working day. And I’m sharing the benefits with you today, because all business owners need to track their time.
You’ll Find Where the Minutes Are Being Wasted
This is the biggest benefit. If you don’t track your time, you have no idea just how many hours are being spent doing things that have no value to your business.
Yes, we all need breaks but without tracking the time, we tend to use that excuse a little too much. Every time someone catches us on Facebook or YouTube, we use the break excuse when really that break will come up in a half hour.
Time is money. During your working day, you need to spend your time effectively, so you’re only working during your working day.
Last week, I wasn’t finishing work until 7pm at the earliest every day and then I’d have work on Saturday to do because I was falling behind. Since tracking my time, I’m finishing at 6pm at the latest, which is the latest that I want to work during the week. It’s all because I’m using my time more wisely.
You’ll Find Your Most Productive Time
It’s not just about using your work day better, but finding when your most productive time during the day is. Once you know your most productive time, you can set the bulk of your work for during these hours.
Without tracking, you can think that certain hours are best, but then find that you’re just not getting through your day. Your actual most productive times are taken up with your procrastination. When you track your time, you can see how much work you get through during certain blocks. Make details of the activities you do during each hour—ever little activity that you do, including making cups of coffee!
Work Hours Tracking & Billing
You’re More Likely to Work Harder
When you track your time, you put yourself under pressure to perform. You’re challenging yourself to actually work instead of doing other things during the day.
I know when I’m tracking my time I’m less likely to procrastinate. I don’t want to put on my time sheet that I spent an hour wasting the day on Facebook. I don’t want to admit to myself that I’ve been watching videos or spent time chatting with friends overseas when all that could have waited for after work.
Tracking time by the minute means that I’m more likely going to get on with an article that I’m writing. If I find it boring, I actually work through it instead of finding a reason to put it off.
You’ll Know Your Hourly Rate Better
Do you really know your hourly rate? You may know what you want to achieve, but do you know if you’re actually achieving that? By tracking your time, you will quickly find out if you’re on point for meeting your goals.
I couldn’t have told you what my actual hourly rate was a few weeks ago. I could have made a guess based on the amount of hours that I was working, but I would have had to take in the full day of work. It would have been low because I was taking in the procrastination as part of the working.
Now that I’m tracking my time, I can tell you that my hourly rate is above what I wanted. In fact, it’s almost double than the minimum that I wanted to set for it.
You’ll Fit More Into Your Day
When you don’t track your time, you run the risk of wasting hours. There are so many tasks that you want to get done, but just don’t have the chance to do it all. You either have to overrun or put things off.
Yes, I’ve done that. There have been blog posts that I’ve wanted to write but never “had the time.” In fact, I have but I needed to use my time better. Now that I’m tracking my time, I have the chance to fit in courses that I wanted to do. There’s time to watch and follow webinars and I can read blog posts by writers that I’ve wanted to follow for a while.
More importantly, I actually have time to spend with my family. My daughter came home today asking if we could go to the park to look for pine cones to make Christmas decorations. Last week I would have just said “maybe,” and it would likely been something put off for another day. And unfortunately, I probably wouldn’t have gotten around to it. Today I got to say “Yes, just give me until 5pm and I’ll be done.” It felt good to give her a definite answer with a time.
All business owners need to track their time. Everyone needs to know how their working day is being spent. You’ll get a better idea of how long it takes you to do tasks to make sure your hourly rate is achievable. You’ll also get to know how productive you are and when your most productive times of the day are.