Tech & Tools

How Tracking Your Time Can Make You a Productivity Powerhouse

By Alyssa Gregory

Time has a way of getting away from us, especially when there is a lengthy to-do list on the desk, a calendar packed with meetings, and very little give in your schedule. In fact, it often seems like the more time we need, the less we have. We all can benefit from more time, that’s a given. But since we can’t add any more hours to the day, we need to learn how to use the time we have more efficiently.

One way to do this is by tracking your time. Here are some of the reasons you should give time tracking a try.

You can get a quick view of your biggest time suck.
One of the first things that tracking your time for a month or so will tell you is where your weak spots are. You may find that you spend a ridiculous amount of time digging through your email inbox every day, or that at least twice a week, you get lost on Facebook for an hour or two. Once you see your biggest areas of distraction you can take steps to fix the situation. For example, this may mean developing a new system for managing your email, or limiting social media time to after work hours only.

You can create more accurate estimates.
When you have hard data to support how long common business activities and projects take your team, you can remove a lot of the guesswork that often goes into creating estimates. Once you receive a request for a quote, you can look up the historic time data that similar projects have taken in the past to see quickly — and accurately — how much time the estimate should involve. This type of information can also help you streamline your billing process.

You can see the return on investment (ROI) of every business activity.
How much time do you have to put into a certain project to make X amount of money? Is it worth it? Are there more lucrative projects where you should be focusing your time instead? Time tracking can give you visibility into the ROI of individual business activities so you can create business-building strategies that focus on your most profitable projects. This is even useful when it comes to determining which marketing activities are worth your investment and which are not.

You can leverage your high-efficiency hours.
Everyone has an optimal time of day for productive work, and time tracking can tell you all about your high-efficiency time of day. It may seem like a small perk, but if you know when you are naturally most productive and efficient, you can automatically schedule your most important work for that time. This can be a tremendous boon for productivity.

To get started, you need to choose a time tracking tool and commit to giving the process a try for a month or two. Once you have time tracking data, review it to make better decisions in your business. You may be surprised how quickly you can push your productivity through the roof.

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