Time tracking is available to all users
Tracking your time without assessing the results is a futile practice. In this article, we’ll share not only why you should use time tracking but how you should use it to reap the benefits of increased productivity and efficiency. Whether you’re a team lead or a team member, read on to see the real value of tracking your time.
Time Tracking Best Practices:
- For Team Leads:
- Why Should Your Team Track Time?
- Case Study: Service Business
- For Team Members:
- Why Should You Track Your Time?
- Case Study: Allocating Time Accurately
- Case Study: Knowing Your Strengths
For Team Leads
Why Should Your Team Track Time?
As a team lead, encouraging your team to use MeisterTask’s time tracking feature is immensely beneficial both for you as a manager and for your company as a whole. In fact, tracking the time required for task completion is key to a productive team and a healthy workflow because you can:
- Automatically gain a data-driven overview of your team’s efficiency. With this quantitative picture, you can implement changes to optimize productivity where you see friction in your processes.
- Use data to make changes before it’s too late. Checking tracked time during an ongoing project allows you to redistribute workloads before negative effects become apparent.
- Delegate time and resources more efficiently in subsequent projects. Tracked time can indicate who excelled in a project and who struggled. You can use this knowledge to better assign resources in the next project you lead.
Keep in mind, however, that the most time-consuming tasks are not always the most valuable ones - reflect on time-tracking data to reconsider whether resources are being used efficiently.
- Use data as a basis for feedback discussions and performance reviews. Identify where team members are spending too much time and address any potential flaws in individual workflow. Granted, time spent on a task isn’t always indicative of how hard somebody has been working, but it can be a good starting point in reflective discussions.
MeisterTask’s time-tracking data is also easy to export and print. Export and print your data to use as reference in meetings or to create handouts for discussion.
Case Study: Service Business
In the service industry, time tracking isn’t just a reflective exercise - many businesses charge clients based on the time taken to complete the project. This system isn’t possible unless team leads enforce time tracking as a policy within the team. The accuracy of time tracking features builds trust and ensures that your clients are billed fairly.
For Team Members
Why Should You Track Your Time?
Time tracking isn’t only beneficial from a top-down perspective. As a team member, time tracking can do wonders for your own organization, productivity, and workplace happiness. You will be able to:
- Reflect on your performance - it’s not always easy to track your time as you work. But with time tracking, once you’ve completed a project, you can look back and see exactly how long each task took you. With this knowledge, you can reconsider your workflow and optimize productivity in future projects. Ultimately, time tracking lets you learn from your mistakes.
- Work more efficiently and productively - people work differently when every minute counts since registered time seems more valuable than unregistered time. As a result, you’re likely to work harder.
- Feel happier at work - it’s much harder to dispute data than verbal claims - tracked time demonstrates your hard work empirically. You can use this data in combination with reports on completed tasks to prove your contribution to the team.
Case Study: Allocating Time Efficiently
Reflecting on the time you invest in a project gives you the opportunity to see exactly where tasks took more or less time than expected. With this in mind, you can make changes to your planning and workflow in subsequent projects.
For example, if you’re working on a marketing campaign and you realize that the brainstorming session took you twice as long as expected, you could allocate more time for this in the next quarter to ensure the meeting doesn't run over time and cause inconvenience.
Using time tracking for better time allocation is especially important if you work remotely. People who work from home can struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance because the two take place in one location. Tracking how long you’ve worked is a great way to make sure you switch off at the end of the day. It also makes it easier for your manager to know how things are going.
Case Study: Tracking Your Strengths
Time tracking lets you learn not only from your weaknesses, but also your strengths. Seeing which tasks you successfully completed in just a short period of time can indicate what sort of work comes most naturally to you.
For example, if you’re assessing your time-tracking data and you realize that tasks involving research took you less time than tasks involving interpersonal coordination, this might suggest you have a particular strength in compiling, reading and analyzing information. With such knowledge, you can pursue projects which let this skill develop further.
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Or check out other best practices:
- MeisterTask Best Practices: Checklist Templates
- Reports Best Practices: Measuring Success
- Reports Best Practices: Assessing Your Team’s Workload
- Timeline Best Practices: Project Management
- MindMeister Best Practices: Collaborating Effectively
- MeisterNote Best Practices: Making Beautiful Presentations