I have a love/hate relationship with time-tracking. Sometimes it can feel tedious, like it’s just one more thing on my to do list. But with the right app, namely Toggl, it’s not only easy to accomplish, it provides ridiculously useful data. You may be thinking, “Besides tracking billable hours, what is the point of time-tracking?” Here are six reasons that it will increase your productivity and help you work better:
- Once you determine where your time is going, you can adjust to make sure your time and priorities are lining up. You may be surprised to know how little time you are spending on your passion project or how much time you are spending watching television. Track your time and you can recalibrate to match your time with your priorities.
- With more data you can make better decisions. By tracking your time you can determine if the pay off is worth the investment. More accurate information means better-informed decision making.
- Tracking your down time will illuminate how effective it is. After a few months of tracking your down time, you can determine how much you need per day to feel rested without wasting time. Are you watching three hours of television each night – which translates to 21 hours per week? Are you wasting more time than you think you are?
- Tracking the time you spend on work projects will help you determine how productive you are. If you work faster you can increase your hourly wage. What can you eliminate to help you increase your productivity at work? Tracking the time you spend on projects at work will help you determine how to increase productivity and maximize your time.
- Time tracking will help you work smarter, not harder. Tracking your time can help you determine your most productive time of day, your most productive location, and other aspects of your daily ritual that will maximize productivity. You can then make decisions based on these factors. You may be able to shave off hours of your “work day” by simply eliminating distractions and setting yourself up for success.
- It will help you put in your 10,000 hours. Malcolm Gladwell famously said that in order to be an expert you must practice your craft for 10,000 hours – three hours a day for 10 years. Perhaps in your mind you have a passion project or a skill you value more than others. By tracking your time with an app like Toggl you can get hard data and accountability to make sure you are putting in your time.
You have limited amounts of time, mental energy, and money to burn in a day and you need to limit your spending in these areas. Use a tool like Toggl to make sure you use your finite resource of time wisely.
What are some things you know to be true about your time and mental energy? For example, I know that I do my best work in the morning so I limit distractions and get to work early. What about you?
This blog post is part of a series highlighting some of the productivity tools our team has used to work more efficiently and create more margin to focus on game-changing ideas instead of getting lost in the details. For more posts from the series, click here.