Time is one of those things we seem to never have enough of and always find ourselves wanting or needing more. A deadline that’s too tight, a weekend that whistled away or a meeting that turned into a half day event; it is all too important to know where all our hours are going.
One of the best routines to get into early on as a solopreneur or freelancer is tracking your time. If you don’t know what is taking it all up you won’t know how to utilise it better.
I would highly recommend investing in a proper time-tracker. There are various apps you can download for your smart phone or computer with excellent time-tracking features that are also visually appealing and easy to use. There can also be time-trackers built-in to other useful applications you may already be using for your business. Personally, I use the time-tracker already in Freshbooks (my invoicing software), that way my tracked time goes straight into the assigned project and makes it really easy to invoice out to the client when finished. There are other products on the market and it’s important to find something you like using or you just won’t use it.
So why is time-tracking important?
It can help you become aware of the amount of time you spend on those pesky ‘time-wasters’ (we all have them) and create a strategy for better time use. Another benefit is to be able to compare quoted hours to actual hours taken on a project. This is valuable information, especially if you have been underquoting, which at the end of the day can mean a significant amount of lost money, and nobody wants that. Working against the clock can make you more aware of time, and create an urgency to get things done, clients love a freelancer who is efficient.
I challenge you to give it a go. Let me know how you can improve how your time is spent or if you had success in ‘finding’ extra hours or other benefits due to time-tracking.