6 Reasons Small Business Owners Need to Track Their Time
Oct 11, by Tanya Alvarez
As the founder of your own business, you wear many hats. You juggle different tasks that the adage “time flies” resonates loudly with you. Because of this, your work-life balance might suffer. So aside from having an accountability group for entrepreneurs to help you keep tabs on your progress, tracking your time is absolutely crucial.
Time tracking allows you to determine the tasks you’re spending most of your time on. As a result, you can better manage your working hours and achieve more effective results. It paves the way for maximum productivity, thus helping your business to grow better and faster.
Failing to trace how your hours are spent is detrimental to your business because making assumptions is not reliable.
Statistics show that most of the time, the length of time it takes to complete a task is twice as what we expect.
Why You Should Track Your Time
1. It helps you in planning your day.
Read any business book or article, and the importance of planning is undoubtedly highlighted. You already know why you should plan. But seldom do these books or articles tell you how you should prepare your day.
You can make the best plan if you have details on what to plan for. Tracking gives you concrete and detailed insight into how your day goes. If you know exactly how much time it really takes for you to complete a task, you can plan your day better. Remember to sync your tracker to your team or entrepreneur accountability group to make sure you’re on the same page.
2. It helps in billing your client.
Being precise with time allows you to give an accurate billing to your client. It protects both you. It ensures you are not underpaid and the client is getting what he or she paid for.
Whether it is project-based or hourly paid, you should track your hours because it makes you more professional and transparent. It keeps your record clean thus invoicing is easier and faster. Just in case your clients complain about the charges, you can show evidence of what you’ve worked on and how long it has taken.
3. It allows you to foresee things.
As mentioned above, we tend to overestimate our capacity to finish things at a particular time. If left unchecked, some projects might not be completed on time, if done at all. Having a reference based on your previous time records will give you accurate allotment for each project instead of poor estimates for every task on the pipeline.
Overlooking potential time constraints is easy. Having a time data clearly laid out before you will let you predict potential roadblocks. With an efficient time-tracking system, you can face tight deadlines without sacrificing quality.
4. It compels you to focus on your tasks.
Today there are more potential distractions than ever. In fact, managers lose an average of 3 hours a day because of distractions. Having a concrete timeline for your tasks helps in making you more engaged on your current mission. Knowing that you have a limited time to do something prevents you from being distracted.
Having a specific task for a particular time also keeps you from multi-tasking. It has been proven that multi-tasking harms productivity because our brains just aren’t wired for it. Instead of doing more, you end up doing less.
5. It eliminates activities that are counter-productive.
Would you still mindlessly surf social media if your time on it is being tracked? Timing and recording how every minute is spent will guide you on eliminating useless activities that are eating up a chunk of your time.
Your time record will guide you in assessing the effectiveness of your strategies. It will give you better insight as to what activities are bringing you profit and which ones you should eliminate or improve.
6. It helps you achieve work-life balance
No matter how quickly you want to grow your business, you shouldn’t neglect other areas of your life. Your health, well-being, and relationships shouldn’t suffer because you are pouring out all of your time on your business. The price just isn’t worth it.
Tracking lets you make time for other important stuff. For example, you limit your work to only 7 hours per day. Then, you delegate the remaining time for your hobbies, rest, family, and exercise. If these are all monitored, you decrease the probability of one or more aspects being disregarded.
Peter Drucker said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Measuring your time through time-tracking is the best way you can improve how you utilize it. Many entrepreneurs measure sales and expenditures, but some neglect to measure time management. How you and your team use every second is crucial for the life and growth of your business.
Time tracking is important, but it shouldn’t be difficult. There are several tools, apps, and software for every size and type of business whether you need it for your personal time tracking or for your team. If you are confused on what tool you should use shoot us an email for recommendations.