‘Time tracking is such a waste of time!’
I’ve often heard people say that. Honestly, if you are a freelancer, you’ll know that time accounting is a serious task as you get paid by the hour. So why is time tracking all that important? Top of the mind, this is why I think:
1. Albert Einstein had only 24 hours. So do you
No one is saying you are not a genius like him. Of course you are! But when you are heading a project, you cannot whip out extra time in the last minute.
Quick Tip: PLAN. Go back to the basics. Make a task list and stick to it.
2. Energy Drainers – Count them in too
Your mobile, email, internet and staring at the clock itself will eat away your carefully planned time. They have a unique way to disrupt your carefully planned time. Tracking your time helps to keep them at bay.
Quick Tip: While planning, set aside some time for energy drainers.
3. Bill your time right
Would you like to be paid by the hour for your expertise or by fixing a rate for the ultimate finished product. As a freelancer your time’s worth should be estimated carefully before you bill your client on the basis of project hours, staff hours or task hours.
Quick Tip: Spend some time to know which project billing method suits you the best.
4. Heard of umm ‘delegating’
Ever noticed the amount of time you spend on actually doing what you love and the time spent on administrative tasks to get to do what you want to do? Share your workload.
Quick Tip: Add more people to the project and let them track their own time.
5. We all procrastinate – No exception
“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday”. Ahem I didn’t say that…Don Marquis did and I kind of agree. We procrastinate filling up those timesheets that when the day dawns to send the invoice, we rush and do a shoddy work of essaying the work we did.
Quick Tip: Do it small bits like once in 3 days instead of once a week.
6. ‘I don’t remember ‘ – syndrome
Not everyone is blessed with exceptional memory. As a freelancer, chances are you will be working on multiple projects and for many clients. The simple things might skip your mind when you finally get to your timesheets.
Quick Tip: Use the notes and write it down when it’s fresh in the mind.
7. Busy bees are awfully busy all the time
“I’ll fill it when I’m not so busy”. Well THAT… somehow never happens. Even if it does, then point no 5 and 6 pitch in and the rest is history. Prise out some time everyday to keep track of what you’ve achieved and where you are headed.
Quick Tip: Keep your mobile handy. Before starting the task, click start the timer. Let the app do the tracking.
8.My client ‘KNOWS’ the work I do
I know he does. But let’s be honest, you might be the best person working on the job but you are not the only one. Why make your client track your work when you can do an awesome job of it yourself. Remember… clients observe.
Quick Tip: Send out an immensely detailed invoice of the tasks accomplished with description. It’ll speak a lot about your professionalism.
9. Increased sense of accomplishment
Don’t know about you, but I love the happy fuzzy feeling that comes when a task is complete. It lets me know that I’m almost close to that finishing line and gives me that additional motivation to get the rest of the job done.
Quick Tip: Track your tasks and their progress regularly. Nothing disturbs the mind like a pending task.
10.It’s a friday job
It’s friday today and I know for a fact I have far more interesting things to do than fill up timesheets. So do you! You often have to reverse engineer your way to noting down what you did the entire week.
Quick Tip: Spend 5 min a day to write down the key tasks. Elaborate later.
Well these were some of the reasons why I thought tracking time is so crucial. Would love to know why you track time. Share your inputs right here in the comments below.