6 Ways to Track Hours and Improve Your Time Management with a Time Tracking Solution
We’ve all experienced days at work where we simply can’t find enough hours in the day to get everything done. Timekeeping at work is important because time is money, yet for many of us, finding the time to fit everything into the working week is just not possible.
If you want to succeed at work, whether you’re a business owner or an employee, improving the way in which you track hours and manage your time in the workplace is essential for so many different reasons.
It’s easy to sit here and talk about how important time management in the workplace is, but the simple truth of the matter is that without an effective time tracking solution and suitable time management strategies in place, doing so will just not be feasible.
If you are able to track hours and manage your time at work more effectively however, you’ll find that important tasks and projects get completed quicker, workloads actually reduce, deadlines and schedules are met with time to spare, and morale on a whole improves greatly.
To help you to track hours and manage your time more efficiently at work, here are several ways to improve time management and timekeeping in the workplace.
What exactly is time management?
In company jargon, time management is the ability for an individual to manage and organize their time at work productively and efficiently.
Individuals will go through their workloads, prioritize tasks, set goals and objectives for the day/week, look for ways of saving time, and then focus on their time allocations for specific tasks and projects.
Lately, we’ve seen an increase in the amount of business owners incorporating a time tracking solution such as time tracking software, into their organizations in an attempt to improve timekeeping and time management, and so far, the results have been hugely impressive.
We’ll be looking into the importance of time tracking software a little later on, but for now, let’s get back to what time management actually consists of.
Time management is not only about using your time more efficiently at work so as to be more productive, it’s also about striking a balance between your work life and your private life so as to avoid burnout and keep your morale high.
How to improve your time management skills
If you’re looking for ways of improving your time management skills and track hours efficiently in the workplace, here’s a look at several ways in which you can improve your time management skills in the workplace.
Set SMART goals
One of the best things you can do when it comes to using your time more efficiently in the workplace is to set SMART goals.
SMART goals are goals which are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Basically, these goals should be clear and concise, you should be able to measure your success rates, they should of course be realistic, they should be relevant to your role at work, and of course, they should be time sensitive to ensure you reach them in certain timeframes.
By setting goals at work, you know exactly what you need to achieve, and you will know exactly what you have and haven’t achieved. If for example you have 3 important projects in the pipeline, 1 of which has a deadline a week away, while the other two are much further away, you can go ahead and set the goal of completing the first project due in a week.
Setting goals allows you to prioritize tasks and roles at work and focus on what’s important while managing your workload. Basically, goals are what keep us on track and can help us to track hours smoothly and efficiently.
Determine how you’re spending your time at work
Another useful tip when it comes to tracking your time at work, is finding out precisely where most of your time is being spent.
We mentioned how a time tracking solution in the form of time tracking software is so beneficial, and one of the main advantages of it, is the fact that it enables people to determine precisely how they’re spending their time at work.
Whether you use a time tracking solution or not, understanding how you spend your time at work is essential as it gives you an insight into your work habits, and indeed, your organizational skills. If for example, you can see that every day you’re spending over an hour answering emails and enquires, when you know for a fact that you could do it in half the time if you really wanted, this shows where improvement is required.
Each day, log how much you’ve achieved, I.E tasks, projects, emails and invoices sent, and so on. Next, identify things which are draining your time that you happen to spend the most time on, and finally, identify tasks which give you the best returns.
Utilize a time tracking solution to track hours
We’ve mentioned the importance of using time tracking software multiple times already, but now, to ensure there’s no confusion, we’ll be expanding on exactly why time tracking software is considered so essential for businesses, large and small.
Time tracking software is a specially designed form of software which can be utilized by business managers and employees alike, to track hours spent working, and indeed, where these hours are being used.
A good quality time tracking software not only allows you to log and track hours, you can also log and track hours spent on tasks and projects, you can compare how time is being spent in different areas at a glance, plus you can also integrate it with other software such as Outlook.
A good quality time tracking solution that integrates with Outlook is very useful because you can use things such as the Outlook calendar to organize your day and workload even more effectively and a lot more accurately.
The software is very easy to utilize, it is incredibly accurate, it will organize your time and your workforce’s time much more efficiently, and it’s also a great motivational tool and morale booster.
Delegate appropriate tasks
As far as time management in the workplace is concerned, knowing when to delegate and assign tasks and projects is very important.
If for example, you find that your workload is unusually high and you’re at risk of missing a deadline and getting bogged down with too much work, don’t be afraid to delegate some work to other employees.
In the workplace, the secret to success, according to Andrew Carnegie, lies not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right person to do it.
Now, obviously we aren’t saying that you should give all of your work to your most capable employees, but we are saying that there is no point in being a martyr in the workplace and trying to take on too much work at once rather than delegate some of it to your best employees.
Remember, in business, a happy client is a regular client and if you find yourself missing deadlines and delivering work late, past the agreed upon deadline for completion, clients who were once regulars, will soon get fed up and will look elsewhere in the future.
Don’t take on more work than you can handle
As a business owner, of course it’s fantastic to be receiving plenty of orders and getting a lot of work, because, after all, that’s the whole point of getting into business in the first place. With that said however, it’s also very important to ensure that you don’t take on more work.
It can be tempting to say yes to each and every enquiry to try to maximize your profits but this is not the way to go about things. If you take on too much work you’ll find that you miss deadlines, you’re working around the clock, and you and your employees become stressed.
You may think you’re making more money, but if you look at the bigger picture what is actually happening is that you’re missing deadlines, you’re rushing and making mistakes, and the quality of your work will decline. This will alienate clients and tick them off, meaning they’ll potentially cancel orders or look elsewhere in the future.
This, again, is where time tracking software is so useful because it allows you to see how you spend your time on different projects and activities at a glance, so you can see whether you’re a risk of going over schedule or whether you look set to meet your deadlines.
Make sure you schedule breaks
Finally, the last thing you can do when it comes to managing your time more effectively at work is to schedule regular breaks.
Breaks throughout the day will help you to mentally recharge between tasks, they’ll help you to think clearer, and they’ll help to improve your morale and motivation as well.
For anybody looking to track hours more effectively, regular breaks throughout the working day are essential, providing you don’t take liberties by scheduling too many and taking too long. Again, to see how much time you’re spending on breaks each day, make use of time tracking software.
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