time tracking

How Time Tracking Can Help You Achieve the Perfect Work Life Balance

Does it seem impossible to get a handle on how you spend and manage your time?

For most people, time management can be a daunting task. Well rest assured—it’s about to get a whole lot easier with some simple time tracking.

Using tools such as Toggl and Harvest can help you to keep your life on track. It’s an essential part of any successful business, but it can also help you achieve balance in both your personal and professional life.

There are so many benefits to logging your time, you won’t believe you didn’t do it sooner! Ready to track and manage your time better?

Check out these 5 ways that time tracking can help you achieve the perfect work/life balance.

1. Stay Aligned With Your Most Important Goals

This tactic does more than help you stay focused on the task at hand. It can help you put your goals into perspective. Think about all the things on your to-do list.

What tasks have pending deadlines or need immediate attention? Which items on your list can wait a day or two? Wouldn’t it be nice to know how long each of those projects might take?

With a time tracking tool, you can see exactly how much time you’re putting into a particular project. When you have a clear picture of how much time you’re spending on a task, you can better manage how and when you do that task. Tracking your time makes it easy to keep your most important projects at the top of your to-do list.

2. Understand How Much Time You Spend On Each Project

With the use of a time tracker, it will be easy to see how much time you spend on each item on your list. Once you start tracking projects, you can get a clear understanding of how long each task takes to finish. The results of this are two-fold:

One, when you know how long a project will take you’ll be able to better prioritize your to-do list. It’s always a good idea to tackle the biggest projects at the beginning of the day so you don’t run out of time. Achieving the perfect work/life balance starts with getting out of the office on time.

Two, by tracking time spent on various tasks, you’ll be able to see how you’re actually spending your time. You’ll also be able to see how you’re wasting your time.

Time tracking helps shed light on what you actually do throughout the day. If a project that should take you 20 minutes actually takes you upwards of an hour to complete, you’re doing something wrong.

3. Identify Non-Essential or Time-Consuming Tasks

Tracking your time allows you to easily identify which tasks take up the most amount of your time. The results can be shocking.

We’re all guilty of it; we do things at work every day that isn’t an essential part of our workload. If you spend hours each day doing tasks that aren’t critical aspects of your job, remove them from your to-do list.

Identify which tasks are essential or non-essential, so you can know how to address each issue. Ask a coworker for help, or see if some of your tasks can be automated. Decide if some tasks aren’t worth doing in the first place.

Don’t waste your time doing tasks that don’t matter or won’t advance your career. Losing complete control of your schedule is detrimental to your well-being. With some simple time tracking, you can make your workday more productive and more efficient.

4. Stay Focused on the Task at Hand

Tracking your time back to a certain task or project can help you stay focused. For example, you have a project that should, in theory, take about one hour.

By keeping a log of your time spent, you can look back and see how long it actually took. If it only took 30 minutes, you’ve freed up time in your schedule to tackle another project or take a short break.

Keep in mind, you can also use this tool in real time to better manage yourself. If you’ve hit the 45-minute mark on a project you have an hour to do, you know it’s time to crank through the rest to meet your goal. If you end up surpassing your one-hour deadline, you know you’ve got to work that much faster on the next task at hand.

5. Make the Case for a Raise, Taking a Vacation or Hiring More Employees

Many employees don’t feel comfortable asking their boss for a day off, let alone asking for a raise. But if you’re dedicated to your job and are great at it, your boss should be doing what they can to make sure you’re happy.

When you approach your boss for a raise or a vacation, be ready to rattle off a list of your career accomplishments. Pointing out your own successes can help to make the case for that overdue raise or much-needed time off.

By keeping a time log, you can see how much time you’ve spent working on projects that helped the company grow.

If your team is overworked and/or understaffed, projects are bound to suffer. If you’ve tracked your time you can build a solid case that shows when and where your team needs more help.

It can also highlight which clients or projects are being over-served or underserved. If your smallest client takes up the majority of your time, some re-alignment may need to happen.

A happy team is a productive team, so it’s important to identify ways to give everyone what they need. Would you like to work from home one day a week? Would you love to take a few long weekends or have an extra day off?

Could you use an intern or an assistant to help with certain projects? Whatever you need, time tracking can provide the proof required to make your case.

Keeping a detailed log of your time can seem tedious and monotonous. But the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Knowing how you spend your time is an essential tool to help you be more productive.

And when you’re more productive throughout the day, you’ll have more downtime to do the things you enjoy the most. Start integrating this into your daily workflow and you’ll see an improvement in your work/life balance.

Author Bio: Chestnut Portland is a quiet community of one, two and three bedroom townhomes in Portland and Scarborough, Maine. Chestnut Portland is perfect for anyone looking for easy access to town, as well as a little fresh air and breathing room.

Header photo by Harry Sandhu on Unsplash

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