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What you can learn from time tracking

Written 23 October, 2018, 3 minutes to read

Time tracking is not just a mechanism for getting paid. It’s a daily essential for anyone looking to improve their productivity, efficiency and profitability. But few people grasp the sheer amount of self-knowledge that you can glean from it. In an effort to turn that around, here are some of the most useful things everyone can learn from time tracking.

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Productivity

We’d all love to have more to show for the time we spend on our work. With time tracking, you get a complete picture of exactly what you achieve each day and what limited your productivity. You can understand:

  • All the activities you perform each week
  • How you spread your time between different clients
  • All the tasks that go into different projects
  • Where you get distracted
  • How you perform against your estimates
  • How much overtime you work
  • Where internal time goes
  • How long you spend checking an replying to emails
  • How often meetings overrun
  • The time you spend in the office each day
  • How long you spend travelling
  • What tasks break your productive focus

Efficiency

Time is a crucial measure of business efficiency – so understanding what guides a smooth delivery and what blocks your progress is key. Here’s how time tracking can help you understand your own operational efficiency:

  • Identify time-consuming (or even broken) processes
  • Find average task lengths for similar work
  • Calculate how long each project phase takes
  • Visualize your entire project workflow
  • Track fluctuations in your workload
  • Understand all your daily activities
  • See how you get interrupted
  • Uncover common time drains – like spending too long on small tasks

Profitability

While “time” cannot always be reduced to “money”, those who spend it wisely are certainly better placed to profit. From improving project rates and delivery estimates, to understanding which clients cost you the most, here’s how time tracking can help improve profitability:

  • See where you project budget actually goes
  • See how long different projects take you
  • Capture hidden billable hours – like phone calls, overrunning meetings and travel
  • Know your minimum project delivery requirements
  • Use past project performance to make better estimates
  • Quote competitively for work that guarantees a profitable return
  • Quantify all your non-billable internal time
  • Work out the best rate for each project – whether fixed or hourly
  • See how much different clients cost you in additional contact, support and iterations
  • See whether your rates cover all your costs
  • Identify what busts your budgets
  • Monitor retainers, project costs and internal budgets
  • Only take on work that’s worth your time

Collaboration

Time tracking is crucial to intelligent resource allocation and effective team work. Get a centralized view of how your team is performing to get the most from every employee and ensure balanced, happy teams. Here’s what time tracking can show you:

  • What each team member is working on
  • Team performance against their total capacity
  • Which employees are close to burnout
  • Which employees have room to help out
  • Where your team needs support
  • Whether people are working to priorities
  • Employee billable to non-billable ratio
  • Whether work distribution is equal

How to track time accurately

The best way to track time accurately – and remove the burden of tracking itself – is to outsource the job to an automatic time tracker.

Instead of interrupting your focus to start and stop timers, automatic time tracking apps capture every detail of your working day in the background while you work. You don’t have to remember to do anything – just get on with your day knowing everything is being recorded to a secure private timeline for you.

By being able to automatically track every work app you use across web and desktop – as well as mobile GPS location and mobile calls – you get a complete and dependable record of your company’s time, where nothing is misrepresented or left behind.

Curious to try automatic time tracking? Experience it for free with your team!

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