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Are you tracking your time?

track your time

The WordCamp Miami BizTrack

What a fantastic day we had today as we spent time talking business with those in the WordPress community. If you missed it, I have a surprise for you – it was all recorded and is available to you for free on Ustream.

But as the WordCamp came to a close, I was reflecting on the themes we heard today. The one that I appreciated the most – because it resonates with so much of what I talk about regularly – was time tracking.

Not to be big brother and monitor everything – but to help develop a set of metrics to measure how things are going. I heard at least four of the speakers highlight that to be successful you needed to know where you were spending your time.

So while I’m asking you if you’re tracking your time, I want to try to motivate you by sharing three benefits of time tracking – regardless of how many people make up your team.

Three Benefits of Time Tracking

1. Focus on Profitable Work

The first benefit is amazingly simple, and yet so often missed by all of us in our effort to get jobs done and keep clients happy. When we track our time, we can determine which work we’re doing that is lowering our profitability and invite someone else to take that work on.

2. Determine our Actual Rates

If you only charge for hours where you’re doing the “job” then you’ll miss a lot of costs that happen outside of the project effort. Administrative costs have to be taken into account. If you know how you’re spending your time, you’ll be better able to know how to calculate your actual hourly rate.

3. Provide Product Development Feedback

Everyone loves to roll out new products and/or new features. And everyone knows that you’ll have to provide support for your new products or features. But how will you know when a launch is failing if you’re not monitoring the escalated effort for those specific products or features?

Are you Tracking your Time?

I’m not going to tell you what tools to use for tracking your time, but I will say that we heard one product suggested at WordCamp Miami that sounds interesting. So check it out. Or find another solution.

But whatever you do, don’t skip this simple habit of asking everyone to track how they spend their time, so you can analyze it.

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