Paul Wherly

The Importance of Time Tracking

This week’s guest blog is from Helen Winder, Managing Director of Transire Ltd.

Isn’t it easy to lose track of time? One minute ago you were probably on a completely different website reading another article and now you are here! Five minutes before that you were working on a project for a client and interrupted by a phone call.

Bouncing between tasks is an increasing challenge we face in our working day. Having the ability to multi-task in order to achieve different outcomes is important in any successful business. But multiple distractions can throw our time management and productivity into dire straits.

As we and our staff work on different projects or our outsourced team work remotely wouldn’t it be great to track time spent and quantify it?

Many companies are starting to realise the importance of time tracking as a method to measure and improve productivity.

Keeping track of your time is not only going to help you be more organised, but it is also imperative if you are billing clients. If you running a business and employ staff or contractors on an hourly rate there are also huge benefits.

The benefits of time tracking:

  • Increased productivity
  • You can break down tasks and projects into small increments for more accurate billing
  • You can understand what business practices lead to wasted time
  • Every time you start a new activity you start the timer / record how much time is spent
  • You can stop timing when you end an activity and move on to another
  • You can keep all data about workload, staff and clients in one central location which you can easily access
  • You can generate reports and invoices from the system
  • You can use timesheets for project management to keep track of what time and effort is being spent on each project or task
  • Freelancers can use time tracking to explain to their clients how their time was spent
  • You can share your time tracking with colleagues and staff
  • You can create time tracking for each specific project or task
  • You can use time you decided is ‘wasted’ time for new tasks and business development
  • Overall you will be more productive.

There are varying time tracking technologies and systems available to companies and individuals, suited to all industries. These could be something as simple as your own stopwatch, to or more sophisticated software such as Harvest and Replicon. A quick Google search will bring up many more time tracking systems.

When you outsource contractors it’s crucial to ask how they will track their time. If your company has an internal time tracking system in place for staff, you could add any contractors to that. Time tracking is beneficial to everyone – clients, employers, employees and contractors alike.

Do you have time tracking in place? How does it benefit you?

Shelley Fishel

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