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How does time tracking help improve productivity?

Have you ever felt that your days at work just seem… wasted?

That the work day is full of trips to the vending machine, endless meetings, and annoying emails, all of which make it harder to focus and work? Something that can be easily applied to either yourself or your team and that can drastically change this is time tracking. Efficient utilization of time tracking software can serve as an effective productivity hack, helping to increase productivity for businesses and workers and saving your company time and money. Time tracking software allows employees to record the time that they have spent on tasks or projects digitally, replacing traditional paper timesheets and thus increasing productivity whilst keeping administration costs low. It can be used by traditional businesses, by those who employ freelancers and by professionals who wish to bill their customers by the hour. One of the best time tracking apps available for employers is MinuteDock, which contains a range of features that help improve productivity. To discover just some of the benefits that time tracking delivers to individuals, teams and companies, read below!

1. Helps you stay focused

Hourly trips to the water cooler, constant replying to emails, and endless meetings among other annoyances all mean that in today’s working world it is incredibly difficult to stay focused. Time tracking apps such as MinuteDock help you regain this focus. Time blocking, focusing on the important things and avoiding multitasking are all productivity hacks that time tracking apps help you master so that you can see an enormous growth in your productivity.

Time blocking

Time blocking is the dividing up of your day into specific time “blocks” within which you will set out to complete specific tasks; by setting up your daily schedule in advance with the things you want to achieve it becomes harder for others to waste your time by distracting you. A time blocking planner can help you set this up; time blocking apps provide planners to achieve this.

Focus on the important things

Work out what the most important things you want to achieve each day are! Then, remember to focus on them. By focusing on the important things, you can arrange your time blocks accordingly so that you have enough time to achieve them. Whether the important thing is an interview, a document that needs to be finished quickly, or even a social event that needs to be planned, by focusing on it you help reduce your attention to other clutter; your sense of achievement from finishing important tasks can also lead to a productive mindset that helps you finish more menial tasks.

Avoid multitasking

Multitasking can seem like an efficient way to get two or more things done at once. However, multitasking also increases your chances of distraction and confusion, and can make your work day seem overwhelming. Single-tasking can actually increase your productivity by 80%; if you combine this with time blocking, then you’ll find that your productivity level and ability to stay focused is far higher than others in the office!

2. Allows you to measure your efficiency

Time tracking software has many uses, but perhaps the most important aspect of the software is that it helps you measure your productivity. Time tracking software highlights the time taken to finish tasks; you can figure out exactly which tasks seep up more time than you would like, and which tasks tend to be finished quickly. This information can all assist you in building daily planners and dividing your time into blocks, and can therefore lead to an enormous increase in efficiency and productivity.

3. Gets rid of potential bottlenecks

Individuality and different strengths and weaknesses between team-members helps keep workplaces (and the world!) running smoothly. However, this always means that some members of a team will take more time to complete tasks than others, simply because they have other strengths, or because they have not received adequate training. Time tracking software helps identify team-members various strengths and weaknesses, and ensures that those team-members that may be falling behind receive appropriate training so that they may increase their efficiency. This can serve as an effective productivity hack to help get rid of potential bottlenecks and ensure that all team-members reach their personal potential with regards to the work that they undertake.

4. Helps to motivate staff to work quickly

Spending a lot of time on one project can cause undue stress and fatigue. This then leads to an overall loss of productivity that can continue to affect you even when that project is finished. Time tracking software allows you to consistently attempt to work faster and thus increase your productivity whilst reducing your stress and fatigue levels. Friendly competition among team-members can further lead to productivity growth, and the sense of satisfaction gained after completing their tasks on or ahead of time boosts morale, reduces fatigue and stress, and leads to a better functioning and productive workplace.

5. Reveals distractions

Distractions are the bane of any workplace and of your own productivity; whether it’s a talkative co-worker, a podcast that you listen to while you work, or simply having a hundred tabs open at the same time, distractions (big or small) limit productivity growth. Time tracking software can help you keep tabs on these distractions and highlight your most efficient working periods so that your productivity can be increased overall.

Daily interruptions

How many times have you logged in to your computer at work only to find what seems like hundreds of new emails waiting menacingly for you to open and reply to every single one of them? Although reading and replying to these emails certainly takes up a lot of time, several of them might further be invitations to meetings. And so the daily interruptions continue. Time tracking software allows these daily interruptions to be managed by employers by way of resource scheduling, which ensures that things such as meetings are set for times when tasks are supposed to be completed by employees.

Procrastination

Everyone has thought that they can put off completing a project or task to the afternoon, or the next day, or the day after that… Procrastination affects everyone, and can possibly never be completely extinguished. However, time tracking software allows the effects of procrastination to be severely diminished by helping keep you on track with your progress through tasks and allows effective time management to be self- implemented, leading to a reduction in procrastination and increase in productivity.

6. Prevents burnout

Burnout as a result of stress and fatigue is a very real problem in the digital age, where your employer can just as easily get a hold of you in your kitchen or bedroom as they can in the office. According to a recent Gallup survey, 23% of workers report feeling burned out on the job often, while an additional 44% reported feeling burned out sometimes. Companies can implement a number of policies that help reduce burnout, with time tracking being one such policy.

Overtime

No one likes having to stay late at the office to finish that project that they’ve left to the last minute due to distractions, procrastination or attending far too many meetings. Overtime is one of the leading causes of burnout; efficient time management and growth in productivity as a result of implementing time tracking thus reduces the likelihood of having to work overtime and prevents burnout.

Capacity

Understanding what you can and cannot do in a day of work is incredibly important not only for your employer but also for your mental health and knowledge of self. Time tracking helps you work out which tasks will take longer to complete and thus lets you know your personal capacity.

Breaks

Breaks are one of the most important parts of the working day, allowing your brain to declutter and relax! A few minutes of activity every hour or so leads to large productivity growth, allowing you to remain focused and healthy. Time tracking helps you easily assign time the way you want to, meaning that you can schedule your breaks around important projects to help you re-energize so that you can return to your work with renewed focus and drive.

Best time tracking software

Although the benefits of time tracking have been detailed here, the best way to discover them is through implementation of it yourself! There are a number of time tracking apps that allow you to utilize time tracking, either for yourself or for your business. One of the best productivity-centric apps available is MinuteDock, a simple time tracking software app that is easy to use for teams. Its features include the capability to assign time by client, project and task; the easy creation of invoices from your time entries and the ability to set targets for individuals, teams, clients or projects. The benefits of implementing time tracking software are clear. Now, it’s time to see those changes for yourself!