Everyone knows employees need to track time so they can be paid accurately, but freelancers and entrepreneurs may not realize that they should be tracking their time too. Time is an entrepreneur’s most valuable resource and so it’s important to allocate it wisely. Time tracking can help entrepreneurs and freelancers do just that.
When you track your time, you can start making informed choices about how you spend your time. If you discover that you’re doing low priority tasks more frequently and spending more time on them and less on others, you can consciously change your habits.
You probably work better at different times of day. You’ll notice these patterns when you track your time. Then you can start scheduling your day more effectively. Structure your day so that you work on the most critical or difficult tasks at peak energy levels.
Just the very act of starting a timer on a task will create resolve to focus on the task and not succumb to distractions. You can “trick” your mind into working harder. If you do get distracted, though, pause the timer. To get the most out of time tracking, you don’t want to track time on tasks when you’re not actively working.
Tracking tasks helps you see which activities are a total waste of time, like many of the distracting non-work activities you do on your smartphone. You may not realize how much time you waste on these things until you start tracking time. This knowledge can be the catalyst for positive change in your work day.
You can’t do everything yourself. At some point you’ll need to hire and hand off jobs you’re least effective at. But when you’re used to doing everything yourself, it might be hard to pin down which tasks for which you should hire. You’ll notice certain jobs take up a lot of your time. These tasks might be very hard for you or confusing or just plain boring. These are likely the ones you should get help with.
Whether you charge by the hour or not, tracking your time will show you what you make per hour. This rate may vary from project to project, depending on how much time a project takes you. Knowing what you’re making per hour on a project will help you decide if you need to charge extra for the project.