How do we really track time that we spend?

How do we really track time that we spend? Tracking time is really tricky and that’s how it is. First of all we tend to do many things simultaneously reading, mailing, searching, twitting and calling etc.. Consciously or unconsciously we spend hours really inefficiently. I tried to close FB, twitter, and email client for an hour but again Google or yahoo alerts pops up with any interesting article so immediately click and start reading it before even I finish I start tweet to my followers. Do we click that alerts/pop ups without even thinking!

Especially tough to track and manage our time when we have less work. Technical term “Non –billable hours”- Is it not like project time tracking? Randomly tasks strikes in any of the day and no say how long it’s going to take. If we get an email from organizers/friend about the conference/event/seminars then we tend to quickly jump into it and start twitting about it. Even we send email to check with our colleagues/friends whether they are interested to participate or not. Managing Ad-hoc non-billable tasks is really tricky than the project. We definitely need to quote where are our time is going.

Every time I tried to arrange non-billable tasks in a logical flow and structure however everytime I fail, fail miserably. Observed myself more than a couple of times when I kept reading a book , immediately move to do read something online and few minutes later grab a water bottle to fill and goes on.. Few distractions are necessary and good as they kill monotony and add newness to our thought process. However, distractions at regular intervals have to be monitored I must get myself into the right head space. I need a timer when I switch between one tasks to another OR automatic calendar notifications as an extra kick in the butt to stop and focus.

It would really nice if I could find a tool that helps to stay on track when I’m not that busy. At the same time I don’t want to spend too much time to time measure. it is not good again. Furthermore two major issues that I need to deal with 1. Having less work to finish somehow makes me more likely to procrastinate. 2. I need to have a answer when people ask what you do at your free time.

Lets try following ideas together and see

Procrastinating – The thief of time, avoid

Priortize

– Focus on work on the billable tasks

– This requires the trait of honesty and self discipline. However, to work smartly, utilise the resources for your advantage

– Use e-Learning and training opportunities

– Add automatic calendar notifications for few important tasks

– Create your own quick-reference guides for future use

– Clean your email box, your system, poorly organized project folder

– Help with proposals, pitches, etc. and get visibility into that pipeline

Proactive

– Assisting the sales cycle, a perfect pitch to learn business

– Find something new to learn in your field.

– Find something to write about online.

-Write a blog.

-Write an article and submit it to a journal in your field.

-Take your old email and check is there a better way to write and communicate

-Write certifications

-Attend free webinars

– Brainstorm ideas.

– Tester contest and make money

– Freelance your skills-Social Network. (Sheth says – Avoid hearing how others have reacted/responded/insisted to what happened yesterday.)

-Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship.

A combination of all the P(s) will certainly make any work a pleasure. Enjoy your free time while you got it – once it’s gone you’re going to more than make up for it, and its not likely ever coming back

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