Managing your time effectively as a business owner shouldn’t be too difficult, right? After all it’s your business, so what you put in is what you’ll get out.
Well … in this day and age that’s probably not quite on the money. What with social media playing an influential role in successful business relationships – be that B2C or B2B- it’s easy to lose track of time in your working day.
So what can you do about it?
That’s easy. Get yourself some time tracking software. There’s no need to invest in anything fancy, unless of course you’ve got a team of people and want to put more structured systems in place to include time analysis and billing (in which case take a look at something like Freshbooks, Harvest or Sage Timesheet). But if you just want a tool that allows you to see how productive you’re being each day, what you’re spending your time on, or even what you need to be charging (if you sell your time), then a free time tracker is all you need.
I personally use Toggl. It’s so easy. Simply register, then download the desktop app that allows you to ‘start’ and ‘finish’ as you start and end projects. Add in your different projects / customers / clients. Break them down into specific tasks and hit ‘start’ to record your hours. Then when it comes to assessing your time each day, week or month, simply log-in to your account and review the detailed report. You can even use it remotely. So if you’re not on your normal machine for whatever reason, you can log in and use the time tracker that’s sync’ed up with your account. Never again will you miss tracking your time!
But if Toggl doesn’t cut it for you, there are loads of time tracker tools available. Some good one’s I’ve heard about from other business owners, VA’s and online tech experts are:
Time Doctor: This time tracking software gives you an analytics of your workday which will help you know where and how exactly you spend your time. Features include web and app usage monitoring, robust reports and optional screenshot monitoring. On top of that, it integrates with most project management software and with your most popular invoicing options. Free 30 day trial.
Paymo: This is a great one for project management as it helps you manage that specific project quickly and easily. The downside is that the free option is only available for 1 user. Anything over that and there is a cost. Free 15 day trial.
Klok: Again Klok has free and paid for versions, but if I’m honest I don’t think the free version has as many of the features that Toggl’s free version has. Having said that it’s still easy to use and has a clean layout for analysing your time.
Tick: A no-nonsense, super easy time tracker. With desktop and mobile apps it makes tracking time a breeze. In my opinion it just doesn’t have quite as much functionality in the free version as Toggl does, but still a good option. Free 30 day trial.
What’s the benefit of all this time-tracking?
Firstly, it will tell you if you’re spending too much time on certain tasks. For example whilst we all know social media is a necessity for networking, responding to customers / clients, creating new-content, getting ideas and checking out your competition, unfortunately it’s a slow burner. So it’s not likely to bring in the money right away. And it can be a huge time drainer.
Secondly, and this is for those of you who sell your time, it can help determine your costs. You may discover you’re under charging on certain projects, so can up your rates (or you may be over-charging, but it’s up to you what you do with that particularly information!).
Thirdly, and probably most importantly, it can help you come to the realisation that actually it would be more cost-effective to hire a Virtual Assistant to take on the day-to-day work that’s eating into your time so much. The cost of you doing it (taking you away from the real money-making opportunities) versus the cost of a VA doing it in potentially half the time … well it’s a no-brainer!
- Manage your time more effectively.
- Be more productive.
- Download a time-tracker to your desktop.
And find out where you’re losing time every day. Find out where time can be saved. And find out where you may need to be more savvy, by outsourcing those more time-consuming tasks to a Virtual Assistant who can support your growing business cost-effectively.