Four Ways Time Tracking Makes You More Successful At Your Job
As freelancers, entrepreneurs or business owners we are always on the quest for more. Work faster. Think harder. Maximize efficiency. Being entrepreneurs ourselves, we know this feeling all too well. If you work for yourself you’re accustomed to this hustle and anticipate, plan for, and in some ways, thrive on, the challenges presented. Whether your business is the culmination of your life’s work, hopes, and dreams, or rather a way to pay your bills and provide a living, it feels good to be good and successful at it.
So, how do we get there? In our long quest for productivity, we’ve learned that time tracking is a great place to start, be it with a pen and piece of paper or with a solution like our time-tracking device ZEI°. Tracking your time will have a significant impact on your working habits and your success: it will make you more motivated, accountable, organized, and efficient — all of which will help you to get even better at your job:
Time tracking helps you become more motivated. It’s human nature to feel encouraged and motivated when you reach your goals. This positive feedback system is wildly effective because it exists in a continuous loop. The more often you reach your goals, the more likely you are to reach future ones. Perhaps your goals are to journal everyday, perfect your elevator pitch, or learn a new language. By understanding how you are spending your most valuable resource, time, you are better able to allocate that resource. Doing well and hitting your stride feels good and makes you want to keep going, and time tracking helps encourage you to stay on track and stay focused.
Time tracking helps make you more accountable to yourself. Long gone are the days when the only hindrance to your productivity was physical environment. Today’s freelancers and entrepreneurs like you have to control their physical surroundings as well as the non-stop barrage of information coming from our laptops, iphones, tablets, fitbits, and cars, even. Fulfilling the commitment you’ve made to yourself to do email outreach for 45 minutes per day, post to your blog once a week, or bone up on industry news every other day is a lot more do-able when you know just exactly how you’re spending your time. Making excuses for yourself is a lot harder when you see that you didn’t get x, y, or z done, but you took an hour to drink coffee and surf the web. Are you trying to build an empire, or what?!
Time tracking helps make you more organized. We know a lot of successful people; friends, family members, and colleagues. They, and we, all have their own way of organization from those with random bits of paper littering their desks to those with laminated tax returns from the last ten years safely filed away. We’ve learned a lot from both kinds of people and all of those in between, but what do we know? Having some sort of organization can only ever help you, especially with your business ventures and livelihood. Tracking your time helps you better organize your time by forcing you to prioritize and encouraging mindful delegation. Sold yet?
Time tracking helps make you more efficient. Efficiency means a lot of different things to a lot of different people but to us it means that you get to spend more time doing the things you enjoy. Plain and simple. It’s a wonder to see just how you are spending your time. Small patterns start to emerge; the coffee break takes 3x longer than first imagined, the five minute task you started with to get out of the way that drags on for 45 minutes, in all actuality. Tracking your time as a freelancer is like making an honest budget for the first time — you find it’s the little things that are most problematic, and least necessary and that stop you from being truly efficient and productive.
New Year, new you, right? While setting goals for 2017, vowing to eat healthfully and exercise more (or at all), don’t forget to set some professional goals as well. The fulfillment gained from your daily grind is what powers you to keep going, and we have a feeling time-tracking will increase this fulfillment tenfold. Take a word of wisdom from the productivity mavens who have been preaching time-tracking for years now and see what it can do for you. Our bet? You’ll find yourself trimming the fat of daily time-sucks and will be getting more high quality work done in less time than ever.
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