Time tracking can be a serious trouble. It sucks! It is one big measure of productivity. But once you do it right, you’ll find it much easier to manage things because time is an important aspect when it comes to the success of a business.
I’ve seen people rushing to answer an important call in the middle of working on an important task. And by the time they try to get back to their work, some colleague comes in to rectify some documents right away. This is a mess, constantly delaying things, and it becomes really hard to tell how much time is being given to work on a particular activity. Some things cannot be avoided but there is definitely a solution. So what can you do? Time tracking is the best alternative!
I’ve seen time tracking being handled in many unfortunate ways which makes people hate tracking their time. If tracking time for your team is becoming a battle but you wish to improve your productivity, I’ve got a list of best time-tracking practices to track time without getting into mess.
1. Say GoodBye to Spreadsheets
Tracking time using spreadsheet seems outdated. Yes, it’s true some people love it, while some hate it too. The fact is that the use of spreadsheet alone is not at all efficient now. It has been powerful yet almost 90% of spreadsheets contain errors. There is a seemingly endless barrage of new innovation to track your time. A cloud-based time-tracking tool that will take you to the systematic tracking of your team’s time is the right fit. Without further ado, let’s see what are the benefits of using a time tracking tool instead of a spreadsheet:
- More precise estimates
- Less hassle
- Easy to make mistakes
- No more double data entry
- Anytime, anywhere
- Easily maintain version control
- Dynamic billing rates
2. Choose a Time Tracking Software for Your Team
Using a cloud-based time tracking software is the first step any team should take to start improving project delivery. Your team might be wasting a lot of their time on irrelevant activities or aimlessly browsing internet. With a time tracking tool, you can keep a tab of the work put in by your team and the progress of your projects.
Here are the most important things you need to consider before making your choice:
- Mobile application
- User-friendly interface
- Flexible reporting
- Good compatibility
- Automatic time tracking
- Multiple device
- Customer support
- Simplified timesheets
- Invoicing & billable time
Make sure that time-tracking software you pick is not too tricky.
3. Organize Time Around Projects
Do you feel like your work is going chaotic? Organizing your time for your projects simply means creating order from chaos. It is important to set aside the time to organize your work. If you’re balancing multiple projects, keeping clients happy throughout, and working on hefty projects you will need to keep a check on how to spend your time.
You can categorize projects around clients, break projects down into categories of tasks and then individual task under each category, assign tasks to a time slot on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis, and describe the success for the end-state of the project.
4. Set Goals and Review Them Periodically
Jeff Boss stated that “You can’t manage what you don’t measure and you can’t improve what you don’t manage.” You need to review your goals to have a conscious knowledge of where your time goes. Tracking where you spend your time is the first step to improve productivity. You can simply improve how you manage your time on your tasks and get a more pleasant solution to spend your time.
5. Prioritize Your Projects
All projects need clear priorities. And prioritizing work is one of the biggest struggles in the modern workplace. 85% of American’s admit they don’t know how to prioritize as well as they would like. When everything feels important, make a to-do list labeling important tasks, urgent tasks, and also non-essential ones.
Remember the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 Rule — 20% of your effort tends to produce 80% of your results. So prioritizing will work great for your adventure. When you know exactly how your team spends their time, you can keep a track on where you are spending too much time and realign the priorities.
6. Personal Time Management Tips
Tracking your time may be a necessary evil. Time can fly or it can crawl by. Learn the time management tips to keep a track of your own time.
Here are the tips to have power over your day.
- Eat that frog
- Have a workable plan
- Stop procrastinating
- Log time once per day
- Avoid distractions
- Organize your working area
- Be willing to ask for help
- Keep a list of daily completed tasks
Make it a Positive Experience
Hope these tips for time tracking will keep your team on the right path to success. Find a system that works best for your team. You’ll be surprised how painless it is to manage projects once you get into the habit of tracking time.
We’d love to hear from you. What are your favorites practices for time tracking? Share with us in the comments below.
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