Time tracking is a key way to gain insights into your productivity and efficiency. Using time tracking software can save you from the tedious task of trawling back through what you and your team have done in a day and recording everything manually.
It can also help you easily generate reports of how you spend your time in detail, and use that to manage your time better. With what MIT called an AI “gold rush” at the moment, AI in the
form of tools like ChatGPT are firmly planting themselves in many workplaces and industries. But what can AI time trackers do, and how can they help you optimize and get the most out of your workday?
Why is optimization important, and how can you make sure the AI time tracking software you use will be genuinely helpful? Let’s dive in and find out more.
The importance of optimizing working hours
There are a lot of reasons why optimizing your time is important – from increasing productivity to happier employees, here are some of the main ones.
Be more efficient with your time
Optimization means efficiency. Efficiency means cutting out time wasters, little things that take a long time but aren’t that useful and distractions to make your time more valuable. Removing time wasters means you can do more in a shorter period, making your business better and more profitable with every bit of optimization you do.
Optimization also means happier people, and happier people mean less burnout! It results in spending less time doing small, often frustrating tasks that don’t add much to a project or takes that simply don’t feel worthwhile.
Engaging in more substantive and satisfying work tends to result in happier employees with greater motivation to finish their work. That also means spending less time working overall, and getting home to family, friends, hobbies and couches all the sooner.
There’s even growing evidence pointing towards a shorter work day resulting in more focused and efficient time, with employees also feeling better about the day. Talk about a win-win!
An important part of optimization is getting good at communicating clearly with your team so things aren’t lost in translation. A lot of inefficiencies come from not being completely clear on what you’re supposed to be doing and why you’re doing it.
Worse yet, misinterpreting something and wasting time on less useful tasks than what you should’ve been doing. So with optimization comes clarity, and with clarity comes better work and more efficiency.
Work smarter, not harder
Optimization means working in the best way possible. It’s finding the 20% of your work day that drives the 80% of progress, and cutting the rest. It means happier people doing better work in less time and having a good work-life balance, and being clearer on the work being done and its objectives. Working yourself into the ground doesn’t mean better outcomes, but optimization can.
The benefits of AI time tracking for optimization
Ok, so optimization is definitely a good idea. How can AI time trackers help you do all this? There are quite a few ways, but here are just a couple of the most important.
Make data-driven decisions
With all the information that AI time tracking can give you, the decisions you make will be evidence-based rather than including a little bit of guessing work which is previously has been.
A lot of data suggests we often shouldn’t trust our intuition, and should instead rely on data and evidence when making important decisions. Estimations might turn out ok, but they’re a lot more hit-and-miss than using data.
Being able to see which tasks are taking too long, who does certain things faster than others and much more, all allows better decisions to be made using evidence rather than intuition. All of these decisions help companies allocate their budgets, workforce, and other resources more efficiently to maximize their impact and minimize waste.
Easily identify inefficiencies
With all the information about how you spend your time mapped out in front of you, you can see whether some things could be streamlined. If tasks are taking longer than they should, for example, or some tasks are taking a long time but not adding much to a project, the AI time tracker will help you identify them so that you can do something about it.
Data from AI time tracking will help organizations pinpoint areas where costs are unnecessarily high, times when productivity decreases, and processes are taking too long. Armed with that information, they can then take action at the root cause and implement corrective measures improving productivity, cost, customer satisfaction and even the quality of the product.
Easily identifying and then being able to address inefficiencies will do wonders for you and your team.
Know when you’re most productive
Your concentration and energy levels go through several cycles over the course of a day. AI time tracking can help you identify when those are, and help you plan your day according to when you’re likely to be most productive and doing the best work.
Look at the information your time tracker has given you, and use it to plan to do your tougher tasks when you’re really going to focus on them and do them well. Then plan your breaks in times when you don’t get as much done, and you’re well on your way to a much better day at work.
Which AI time tracking software?
In essence, you should make sure that your AI time tracker will do or help you to do all of the things you need. There are a myriad of things you might want, but there are a couple of main things you might want to check for specifically.
Can you customize it to do what you want?
Being able to make your time tracker work exactly how you want it to is a really good idea. This is because there are inevitably going to be things you need to do and to track that are specific to your business.
If you can’t customize the tracker to be able to do and track those things, it’s not the right one for you. Can the tracker make the reports you want in the way you want it to?
What about graphs so you can show management the data? Does it work on multiple different devices and different kinds of devices (e.g. a phone, laptop, or computer)? If it doesn’t do those things and you need it to, you’ll need to look for something that does.
Does it tell you what you want to know?
If you’re not getting the information you need from your time tracker, it’s not a good fit for you. Can it easily identify the right inefficiencies? Does it know whether you’re in a meeting or not, or differentiate between different locations?
Again, if you need to know those things and the tracker can’t give you the information, find one that can.
Does it work well with your software?
This is a big one. You’ll want to find a time tracking software that integrates with, and works seamlessly alongside your existing software. A system that doesn’t stay in sync with your tech stack means inefficiency and extra admin work - i.e. the opposite of optimization.
With the ability to exchange information readily and continually, software integrations allow quick and easy updates. It means no more manual data transfers between different systems, which are not only ineffective and time-consuming but also prone to errors.
The benefits are far-reaching, including improved communication, enhanced productivity, cost savings, and an unparalleled customer experience.
This is especially true for time tracking software. If your project management tools don’t sync perfectly with your time tracking system, then you rely on manual input, and sooner or later your time data will be inaccurate. Find a tracker that works well with the software you already have, and your life will be a lot easier.
Optimization, then, helps you get the most out of your work day and helps you, your team and your business be better and more productive. It can help you do better work and get more done in less time, with happier people working on projects meaning there’s less burnout.
Additionally, optimizing how your business communicates means everybody has a clearer idea of what to be doing. AI time trackers can help you do this by giving you the data to help you make decisions including about how best to optimize, as well as helping you easily identify inefficiencies and know when in the day you’re at your best.
Check whether the time tracker does everything you want it to before you start using it, such as whether it’ll give you the information you want, and whether it’ll work well with your existing software. Then, say goodbye to inefficient and unproductive time, and hello to an optimized future.