Are you tracking time?

Last week, I was listening to Simon Sinek’s podcast episode about being truthful and he mentioned something about filling in timesheets. That reminded me, those of us who don’t need to fill timesheets, do we track time?

I use this tool called Toggl. Basically start-stop based on the work you do. There’s also Paymo, which is both project management and time tracking in one. I believe Zoho Projects / Zoho People also allows you to do this. It doesn’t matter. Even if you have a diary and write it down every hour, it works.

The reasons I’ve found time-tracking so bloody helpful is:

  • Realising that I can only be creative / productive about 6 hours a day, at best. I work long hours — about 10-12 hours a day. But that doesn’t mean I’m entirely creative / productive. There is a limit on how long I can write, for instance. The rest of it is meetings / accounts / catching up etc. Knowing this helped me prioritise writing first thing in the morning and do the meetings later.

  • Knowing how long something takes. A 300-word brochure copy sometimes takes longer than a 1000-word blog. Tracking time helps see the trend.

  • Identifying what I need help for. I spent too much time doing GST (though I got a kick out of being GST-savvy), LOL. So, when Mr. Albert reached out, it was a simple decision to hire them.

  • Learning how long context switching takes. I spend at least 20 mins after a meeting to unload the info and get warmed up for the next task, apparently.

And of course, noticing how long I procrastinated on something that took about 30 seconds max. 🙂