August 24, 2020 | By Pi Luna & Drew Tulchin
As business owners, we’re usually pulled in multiple directions at once. When we tend to the most urgent or noticeable task on the to-do list, other items get ignored. Most often, effort towards longer-term plans and investing to make our business better remain unattended.
As the song goes, “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping…into the future.” A phone call here and a half hour there – before you know it, the day is done. Tracking your time is a solid step to look at what’s really happening. Once you see it, and record trends, then it’s easier to fix.
Therefore, we recommend tracking your time, even if you are an owner or salaried employee and not required to do so.
Here are four benefits of tracking your time:
- Increase Awareness
The act of tracking your time can be a wake up call. What if you found out you spent two hours a day answering emails instead of working on an important project? Documenting your time enables you to look at your days.
- Prioritize Your To Do List
Not all tasks are created equal. Yet, much of our time gets spent on unimportant tasks because they are in-front of us, instead of tasks that build towards longer-term goals. When you step back and take a look at your day, you can adjust your priorities and dedicate time to the most important items on your list.
- Delegate More Effectively
When you see where you time goes, you can look at those tasks worth doing yourself and what might be delegated. Tracking your time gives you the clarity to identify what might delegate better.
- Make Better Financial Decisions
“Time is money.” When you track your time, you’ll get a more accurate sense of how long projects take. You’ll be able to quote more accurate estimates, improve your pricing strategy and set realistic goals.
Time Tracking Template
Here’s a template in Google Sheets to help you track your time throughout the day. You can enter your tasks on the left-hand side and the totals automatically calculate on the right. Here’s a screenshot of the example.
Once you track your tasks for a week, you can look at the totals and ask yourself:
Where do I spend too much time?
Where do I need to spend more time?
What tasks can be calculated?
Are there tasks missing that should be included?
As an artist, business coach, computer tutor, former math teacher, and award-winning author, Pi integrates creativity with logic to help make learning fun and easy. She helps small business owners learn the tech skills they need to do well in our rapidly changing economy. You can work with her individually over zoom, take one of her online classes, or read one of her educational books.
UpSpring Associates (www.upspringassociates.com) is a New Mexico based ‘B Corp’. We are a network of consultants collaborating with entrepreneurs to leverage the power of the marketplace for betterment – for business to ‘do well by doing good.’ We work with founders and their team to move an idea to reality, create the materials needed to describe the company, and enable the company to attract the capital it needs to advance. We have been recognized as a ‘Best for the World Small Business’ for the last five years.