Time is becoming a rare commodity these days because of the number of activities that demands for it. Productivity is rather an objective matter, wherein being busy doesn’t necessarily translates to it. People are expected to use their time properly in order to achieve a quality life that may make you physically and emotionally exhausted, but you get to see positive results like a good pay or a healthy family. Productivity is the use of time that gives back long-term benefits for you and your endeavors.
Modern businesses suffer a similar dilemma when it comes to project management. The more that the market competition stiffens, the more tasks are needed to do to leverage with competitors. This is also the same reason why project management is important. Employees are more time-pressed to execute many simultaneous tasks in order to keep up with the pace. There is a decrease in productivity when we multitask, that is why many businesses are wondering why they couldn’t see the quality of work they are looking for. Productivity equates to quality which is essential in improving revenues, but modern businesses find it hard to achieve these days.
What Is Time Tracking?
Most people make mistakes in creating a schedule for everything but not tracking time. This is why when they weren’t able to meet a deadline, they blame themselves for being lazy or unproductive. When in fact, most projects fail because of not setting a realistic timetable to follow. It is either you overpopulate your schedule, or you waste so much time on some unimportant tasks.
They say, time is of the essence, and the same is true with why time tracking is important. Tracking time will make you more mindful of your activities and how you prioritize each. By simply being aware, you can encourage yourself not to waste it. Employees will also be motivated to use their time well upon knowing their time is monitored and kept. Employers can then use it to give incentives or to qualify someone for a raise. These are only some of the immediate benefits of time tracking, and there are so much more in a modern business setting.
But first, consider these ways on how people do time tracking these days:
Your team of five collaborated for a project, and when it is time to bill the client, you ask each one how much time they spent doing it. You come up with a rough estimate, and that’s what you relayed to the client.
Through this method, time tracking for remote workers becomes fairly quick and easy to use. Getting the estimates of each of your team mate can help you come up with an overall projection. However, the estimate can be inaccurate because you cannot break down the hours and the activities involved in it. This is a problem if the client will ask you for a comprehensive report.
Paper based method
This is an easy and convenient method of jotting down the activities you do and their corresponding hours. This is the manual counterpart of doing electronic time sheets, wherein you use pen and paper, or your phone. You can still accomplish your time keeping task even without electricity or an internet connection.
The downside here is the inconvenience when you accidentally lose your records. You will also spend more time in making it presentable to the client, who might still ask you to use a computer to edit. Sharing and sending it is also a bit of a hassle – either through scanning, converting to digital copy, or mailing.
The most familiar method of tracking anything exists in using a spreadsheet. You can practically detail anything using its almost endless number of rows and columns. Smartphones also even have their own installed spreadsheets, such as Google Spreadsheets or Apple Numbers, making it easier to do even when you are on-the-go.
Spreadsheets are as good as manual methods, and tend to be tedious to fill up. But it is easier to share since it is already in a digital format. You can also do computations using different syntax and formulas. With its many rows and columns, you can also put as many details as you want for the client to know about the work you rendered.
Time tracking tools
Time tracking tools have now become more sophisticated through technology. And automation brought a lot more convenience and efficiency in tracking and keeping records of time. Aside from recording timed events, there are also added features like tracking application usages, an automatic clock timer, invoicing and billing automation, etc.
Time tracking tools can also return a more comprehensive time keeping report minus the tedious and time consuming work. With time tracking for teams, it can effectively measure the productivity of employees. But some may resist it or become offended because it may imply that you don’t trust them to finish their work at their own pace.
Project management tools
An integrated time management app can help project managers to track the time spent on each task. Proper time tracking enables you to be more effective in projecting milestones and finish dates, which is also essential in budgeting and projecting time tables and the end date.
Benefits of Time Tracking to Modern Businesses
The market is now seeing a growing number of freelancers and consultants who prefer to capitalize on their own time and stay flexible with their work hours. According to the results of a freelancing report commissioned by the partnership of Freelancers Union and Elance Odesk, about 53 million Americans are now engaged in freelancing work, and that their top drivers are extra income and work flexibility. Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics is seeing growth in self-employment.
There are also businesses that wanted the same freedom from managing in-house employees that they choose to get these freelancers and operate on a project basis. The advantage, aside from not having to maintain a number of employees, is that it doesn’t require many resources to capitalize on like an office, equipment, machineries and utilities. With this set-up, these businesses that hire freelancers are able to maximize their profits too.
Project managers who are looking for what project management tools and techniques to use must strongly consider time tracking. It does not only improves employee productivity, but also helps in making sound projection and estimates concerning budgets and completion date.
Whether you are a freelancer, a modern business that hires freelancers, or a project manager, you can gain significant benefits out of time tracking, and these are:
You can make more informed and smarter decisions.
By consistently doing time tracking, you will know what kind of activities take up so much of your time, especially those that interfere with your productivity so you can easily eliminate them. When it comes to work, time tracking can also put your strengths on the surface, so you will know how to ask for a reasonable rate for it. For businesses, knowing how your employees utilize their time will help you gain additional insight about giving them a raise, or to downsize their numbers for your business to be more cost efficient in the long run.
Since it was already mentioned, one of the reasons why businesses fail is either it is understaffed or over-staffed. In understanding what tasks are up for grabs, and how your employees are executing it based on how they utilize their time and your resources, will make you analyze how many staff you really need in the first place. Time tracking can be an effective measure of your employees’ productivity, which will help you make informed and smart decisions in managing and keeping them.
It can reflect your work performance and highlight your strengths and accomplishments.
Time tracking is also a great motivational tool that helps you realize the smaller accomplishments you achieved even without reaching your utmost goal yet. Freelancers who work remotely might find a lack of sense of appreciation from their bosses, and time tracking is an excellent way of reminding themselves on how much work they’ve accomplished. Time tracking and keeping can also help you negotiate about your rate for your clients, because you have actual proofs of your performance.
It can help you have a more trustful relationship with your clients or employers.
Time tracking for freelancers allow you to be more transparent with how you execute the task assigned to you. This builds an atmosphere of trust and confidence, which is important for clients who don’t see you work in actuality. It also lets them track where their investment goes, which will also help them assess their own expectations about your work and other future works to be assigned to you. Successful freelancers are the ones who usually deliver beyond what is expected of them, and by including a detailed journey of how they executed the project can help uplift their reputation with their clients.
Benefits of Using Time Tracking Tools
Time tracking can be tedious, which sometimes interfere instead of enhancing the productivity of an individual. By incorporating technology with time tracking, you allow yourself to execute your tasks and have a tool that automatically records the time you spent on each. This new found efficiency can also allow you to improve on issuing invoices and billings to your clients, and in giving your freelancing partners their pay on time. Time tracking tools are essential in modern businesses and freelancers of today, to make sure that they will stay productive and efficient without sacrificing the quality of their outputs.
Apart from those mentioned, here are more benefits of time tracking tools:
An integrated timer
A time lapse can help you see how long you are able to finish a task, and make improvements as necessary. It can also help you put an accurate time measurement on your timesheet.
Automatic time tracking and keeping
You can set your time tracking tool to automatically record your time for each task that you accomplish. This is helpful to people who tend to forget doing it, or are not accustomed to tracking their time.
Users can set up milestones and create a separate timesheet for it in order to have a more detailed report about the time it took to accomplish each.
You can easily remove or add activities
With time tracking tools, you can easily amend your milestones by adding or removing activities without disrupting the time you set.
It lets you keep track of your progress
Some time tracking tools let you view your time budget to accomplish your project, and see it decrease as you move along your tasks. This allows you to assess if you will be asking for an extension, or you will deliver ahead of the deadline.
You can monitor your performance
Time tracking tools are also useful for personal time tracking, which allows you to monitor your own level of productivity when you work at home or when you do it outside. It will also help you maximize your time, and steer away from distractions in order to give the right focus and quality to your work. It also helps in building your skills in making accurate estimates, projections and proposals, which increases the likelihood of delivering the requirement on time.
Are you on the lookout for the best time tracking tool as you launch your freelancing career? Are you a business owner who wanted to be more efficient in dealing with both your freelancing partners and clients? Let CrowdReviews.com help you find the right time tracking tool for your needs by exploring different time tracking tool reviews.
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