Benefits of Time Tracking Software for Freelancers

Time tracking software is quickly becoming a vital program for companies of all sizes. Those who work as freelancers will find that tracking their time has a number of benefits. Freelancers, who work as their own boss, even though they have clients, may have trouble sticking to certain schedules without proper time tracking and management. Tracking does not need to be difficult. With some simple software, it becomes easier to see just where the wasted time stems from, and to figure out how to eliminate it. Let’s examine some of the benefits that time tracking software offers.

Accurate Billing for Clients

Many freelancers need to invoice their clients based on the number of hours they are putting into a project. When tracking by the hour, it is important that you are able to provide the exact number of hours you are working to your client, and you want to show them what you did during that time. Time tracking software makes this an easy task.

Your clients want to have this information. It helps to improve their trust in you and it shows that you are honest. It can also show whether you are working efficiently or not, and this could play a part in whether the client decides to hire you again. By providing accurate billing, you are doing more than just helping your clients though. It also ensures you receive the right amount of money for the work you do.

Evaluate the Cost of Projects

Time tracking software can help you discover if a project will take you longer than initially expected. You will see this earlier than if you did not use the software, which lets you talk with your client about how to proceed. In some cases, the freelancer might decide to eat part of the costs simply to keep their clients happy and to ensure more business. However, it may be a bad idea to do this too often, as you will be doing work for nothing and your clients will simply come to expect this from you.

As you work with the software more, you will find that you start to have a better idea of how long it takes you to complete different types of tasks, so you should start to have fewer instances of projects that are in danger of going over the schedule. This is helpful for those freelancers who are charging their clients per project rather than per hour. The freelancer will have a much better idea of just how much time each type of project will take, making accurate billing – so he or she can still make a living – much easier.

Assess and Improve Productivity

Every freelancer is in danger of falling into the trap of limited productivity, often without even realizing it. Perhaps they spend a bit too much time working on email or social networking through the day. Maybe they are adding an extra fifteen minutes to their lunches each day and watching videos on YouTube. Today’s world is full of distractions for everyone, and those distractions are eating away at your time. Time tracking software can help you identify these time wasters so you can remove them from your work life. Imagine cutting out those fifteen minutes a day wasted during work by watching YouTube. This could save more than an hour a week, and five hours a month. By the end of the year, you will have banked sixty extra hours. That’s a week and a half of work, which you could spend working for new clients, or even taking a vacation – simply by saving fifteen minutes a day.

By eliminating wasted time through the day, you can become more efficient and productive, and put that time to much better use. Tracking your time also shows you where you may have more time to complete different tasks that you would otherwise have to put off until the next day. You will also find out whether you are quite as productive as you may feel you are.

Changing Your Day and Thinking Thanks to Time Management

When you understand how you are spending your time, you will find that you can start to rethink how you are working and how to make things more efficient. By defining the size and scope of each project and viewing it through the lens of your time management and tracking information, you can determine just how much time you will need to spend with each new project. This lets you control how you tackle the project as well.

The more you use time management and tracking software the easier it becomes to understand your own limitations, which will ensure you do not take on more work than you should. Overburdening oneself is one of the biggest issues that many freelancers face. They take on too many projects, not really taking the time to evaluate just how much time each of the projects will take.

Taking on a large number of projects may seem like a good idea from a financial standpoint, but it is dangerous. Projects may come in days or weeks late, and the quality might suffer. While everyone has bad days occasionally, your clients want their projects on time.

Time Tracking Is Cost Effective

Personal time tracking, and even tracking for larger businesses, is far more affordable than most imagine. Considering all of the benefits that the software and tools can provide to freelancers, it makes sense to start using it sooner rather than later. Look for software that fits your needs and budget and start using it.

However, you need to remember that the software will only benefit you if you commit to using it and accurately tracking your time. Learn how to use the software and make it a part of each day. This is the only way to get an accurate picture of how you are spending your time. In the beginning, remembering to use the program can be hard, but the more you do it the easier it will become. Before long, it will be second nature.


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