Here are my three primary ways to track time
Time Tracking – The Best Way
I’ve found that the best way is to use time tracking software that requires you to start and stop manually each task. Some people may feel this is too micro. But I’ve found that awareness of how you spend your time will enable you to be more focused when you are prioritizing important tasks over urgent or non-important tasks.
If you’re wondering where to find such a tool, I recommend taking a look a Toggl. “Toggl’s time tracker is built for speed and ease of use. “
Here’s what will happen when you first start tracking each task:
You will be overwhelmed with the amount of quick start/stop activities. This feeling is normal since most people aren’t focused and conscious of every activity they do in a day. But keep with it. After two weeks straight, you’ll start to see ways you can improve every aspect of the tasks before you. You’ll use the insights from time tracking to make a committed choice to prioritize your day based upon tasks that enable you to reach your success goals.
The Second Best Way
Use a behind-the-scenes time tracking program. If you’re the type that refuses to manually track your time, then a time tracking software that runs in the background on your computer and mobile devices is an excellent alternative.
The tool I recommend is RescueTime.
This application will automatically log what you accomplished during the day by documenting the applications used on your computer and mobile devices. It teaches you things about your workday you would never otherwise have the time or awareness to learn.
Again, with RescueTime, you have software always working to log your time for you, in the background. Simple, easy and so powerful!
After using the tool, you’ll begin to recognize how you’re spending your time. This “running in the background” approach will work for those people who don’t take the time to track because it’s “difficult” to write down every single thing you do in a day.
The Next Best Way
Use a large planner with a two-page spread for each week, with each day divided by the half-hour. Don’t use it for keeping track of events and holidays, a digital calendar like Google Calendar, is better for that. Instead, use the space to jot down every major task in a day.
For you lovers of paper, get some colored highlighters and stickers to setup a color code for fast visual queues.
You can find these at neighborhood office supply stores. Alternatively you can check out PassionPlanner for a 10,000-foot view of yearly goals and log specific tasks to accomplish them. Either way, find a comfortable way to write down the things you do.
The Ultimate Lesson
The ultimate lesson about time tracking is that it is a skill and performance building process that you’ll need to practice daily for life.
People who track their time can double sales, improve focus, and get more of the important tasks done. If you do, you can become a master at anything you track; from fitness, work, play, and even sleep.
REMEMBER most people don’t want to track time, self-manage and be efficient. But successful people do the things that most people don’t want to do. I hope you strive to be better than everyone else and commit to track every single thing you do in a day.
Bonus: What do I personally and professional use?
I’ve experimented with many time tracking apps before, but even the simplest ones felt like I wasn’t getting the clearest picture. I desired a holistic view built from multiple data sources. Therefore, I use a combination of RescueTime, Toggl, Google Calendar, and our digital marketing agency‘s Project Management Software.
Also, I don’t check emails all day every day. To learn more about my email system read: How You’re Sabotaging Your Business With Email
It’s not just about productivity it’s about how disciplined I am at using my limited time on earth.