Settling yourself into a good time tracking routine is easier than you think, and doing so will make your workflow infinitely more efficient and productive.
Use time tracking to keep yourself focussed on the task at hand
Track as you go, rather than making it up at the end of the day
A smart way to do this is to start thinking differently about the way you approach tracking your time. Use it to keep yourself focussed on the task at hand, rather than writing down later how much time you think you spent on something a few hours or days ago (you’re bound to forget or just fudge the numbers).
Turn your timer on right before you start something, write a short description of what you are about to do, and finally - this is the hard part - go and do only that.
Make an effort to start your timer before you begin working on something, and end it when you finish. Logging that time entry should give you a sense of accomplishment!
Use your timer to keep you focussed
Every time you switch tasks your brain has to shut down the part you were using, and turn on the part you need for the new task – so just imagine the amount of brainpower you waste trying to do two small tasks at once!
To keep productive, when your timer is running you should be focussed on just one task at a time. A good idea is to write you’re going to do in the notes of your current timer as you do it.
It can be really hard to stop yourself from multi-tasking when you’ve got a lot of work to do, but try focussing on one activity for a decent chunk of time, and then see how much faster you get through your to-do list.
Use your timesheet as a productivity goal
You already know that it feels great to look back on a day when you’ve accomplished a lot. Most people want to feel productive. If you’re always tracking your time on what you’re doing, then you can use the hours you’ve tracked throughout the day as a guide on how you’re progressing towards your productivity goal.
MinuteDock has a nifty feature called Goals that helps you keep focussed towards a time target!
Keep your timers honest
Whether you’re making a cup of tea, calling a friend, or scrolling through your twitter feed – be honest and pause your timer when you’re not actually working. Beyond just making your timesheet more accurate, making an effort to do this and keep your timers accurate will give you a bit of a nudge in helping you get back focussed on work.