Time Tracking Metrics to Measure for Ultimate Productivity

In our last article on using Yast to help stay on track with your New Year’s Resolutions, we shared a few of the different ways in which our time tracking tool can be used to help you find the time needed to dedicate to reaching your goals – whether this involves following a new fitness program or simply becoming more productive at work.

However, anyone who’s ever studied the science of goal setting knows that setting something as vague as “being more productive” as your aim isn’t the strongest way to bring about the objectives you desire.  After all, how do you measure being more productive?  At what point can you consider yourself to have been successful?

Instead, a far better approach is to set specific, measurable goals that you can track using a program like Yast.  For example, imagine saying, “I will spend 20 minutes each day studying continuing education programs to improve my skill set,” rather than, “I’ll improve my skill set throughout 2013.”  Guess which one of these two goal statements is more likely to produce measurable, tangible results in your work performance?

So when it comes to becoming more productive on the job – whether as part of your New Year’s Resolutions or simply because you know you have room to improve – what you need aren’t platitudes and half-formed intentions.  What you really need are specific metrics that can be measured to demonstrate actual progress towards your goals – as in any of the following examples:

Time spent on time-wasting websites

One of the biggest roadblocks to professional productivity is the number of time-wasting websites online.  It’s incredibly easy to tell yourself that you’re just going to spend a few minutes checking Facebook – only to find yourself having fallen down the rabbit hole of interesting articles half an hour later!

To determine just how much time these websites are wasting (and just how much time you stand to gain for more productive endeavors), set up a Yast project labeled “Wasted Time” and get in the habit of clicking it on whenever you leave your work for distracting websites.  Chances are seeing these instances adding up over time will give you the kick in the pants needed to spend more time on actual productivity.

Time spent on breaks

Similarly, it’s not uncommon for a single trip to the coffee machine to turn into an hour-long gab fest with a co-worker – just as it’s easy to think you’re taking 30-minute lunches when you’re actually stepping away from the office for at least an hour.

Again, all of this unaccounted-for time can be put to better use on productive work – but only if you take the time to identify where and when you’re wasting it.  Tracking the amount of time spent on breaks using a Yast project titled “Breaks” might seem tedious, but the resulting gains in productivity can be well worth your efforts.

Number of tasks completed per productive hour

If you want to get a little bit fancier with your time tracking metrics, try comparing the amount of time you spend on productive work to the number of tasks you’re able to complete.  To do this, you’ll need two pieces of data – the amount of time you spend on productive work (as measured by a Yast project labeled “Productive Work”) and a “to do” list management program that allows you to determine the number of tasks completed during any given time period.

Of course, if you plan to use this metric, you’ll want to be sure your tasks are similarly-sized – as comparing monumental projects to simpler tasks won’t produce valuable data.  However, if you keep the tasks you track to roughly the same size, this particular metric can be incredibly useful in helping you to determine whether you’ve been more or less productive than usual on any given day.

Clearly, these are just a few different examples of how Yast’s time tracking program can be used to boost productivity through concrete metrics – but this is by no means a comprehensive list!  Customize these metrics to your own needs or come up with your own entirely and you’ll be amazed at how much more effective you can be while on the job.

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Yast has to be the easiest to use time tracker, period. Keep up the great work! Glenn Murray - Divine Write

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