Five Reasons to Track Your Time

Since you are here and reading this, chances are good that you have time on your mind and you’ve given at least some thought to the benefits that could come from learning to track your time. You might have found that you are simply not as effective at your job as you once were, or you might be looking for some way to figure out just where your time goes throughout the day. Time tracking apps and software for your computer are the best ways to do that, and they will provide you with a number of benefits. The following are five of the best reasons to start using this type of software. This barely scratches the surface of all of the advantages that using the software can offer personal and business life.

Reason #1: Find Out Where the Time Went

How often do you have to stop and think about where the day went? Some days fly by very quickly, and at the end of the day, it seems as though you did not finish even a fraction of the work you were supposed to accomplish. This happens to nearly everyone who does not have impeccable time management skills. You can stop this from happening to you though with time tracking software. It lets you see everything that you did do throughout the day, including the places where you may have wasted a bit more time than you should have.

Chances are very good that the time wasters come from the little things that you might not even feel were much of a problem. However, for every couple of minutes you spend on a social networking site or reading emails that could wait until later, you are wasting time. Coming back five minutes late from lunch or break wastes time too.

Let’s say that you spend five extra minutes online each hour. During an eight-hour day, that’s about forty wasted minutes. Add a few minutes of being late from lunch and break, and you are looking at nearly an hour of wasted time each day. This adds up quickly. Imagine what you could do at work with an extra hour.

Reason #2: Figure Out Where You Need to Improve

Once you start tracking your time, you will then start to see all of the different areas where you can improve. This goes beyond just eliminating the time wasters you find. It also shows you where you might be struggling with different project areas.

For a graphic designer, for example, you might find that you are spending far too much time on the thumbnails for logos. One reason for this could be that you are offering the customer eight different options from which to choose, when you should only be offering three, and then letting them make the changes they want. The time tracking software won’t make you faster, but it can show you where you need to improve, and then you can figure out different ways to do so.

Reason #3: Accurate Billing for Clients

Anyone who works with clients regularly, and who charges by the hour or by the project, really needs to take time management seriously. A big part of time management is in choosing the right amount of time when giving someone a quote for a job. If you charge by the hour, you need to let the client know how many hours it will take and how much the project will cost. Those who charge by the project still need to know how to calculate the amount of time it will take for them to finish the project as well, so you can provide an accurate estimate.

The client does not want to pay extra for work that you could have done in a timelier fashion. Having documentation that shows how you spent your time on the project alleviates the concern a client might have. You also need to make sure that you are billing fairly for yourself. Time tracking helps you to understand how long it takes to complete different projects, so you can give customers who have similar projects similar estimates, making sure that you do not undercharge for the service.

Reason #4: Learn How to Eliminate Distractions

This ties in nicely to the first reason on this list. The time tracking software helps you to see different distractions and diversions. However, the software can go beyond that. When you know that you have certain distractions or weaknesses, you can start to learn how to eliminate those distractions for future projects, such as setting up a schedule for working on social media, marketing, and other areas where you might have been spending too much time.

Reason #5: Better Time Budgeting

You can learn to budget your time better as well. Tracking your time usage will let you get a better understanding of how long you generally need to take for different aspects of the project, including the marketing and promotion, the creation of the item or completion of the service, and more. This allows you to budget your time appropriately to take care of the daily needs of your business, and to know just what it will take to get things back on track in the event of an emergency.

You Really Need to Use the Software

Not only do you need to get the software and start learning how to use it, you actually have to continue to use it. If you want there to be a change in your productivity and how you conduct business, you have to be willing to use the software throughout the day to keep accurate track of where you are spending your time. Many people feel as though they want to have better time management skills, but few are actually willing to work on those skills. The right software, which is easy to use and is available for computers as well as tablets and smartphones, can help to make it easier to keep track of everything.


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