If you’ve ever tried to get better with your finances or lose weight through a nutrition program, you’ve been told to “track what you do.” If you’re trying to eat better, you’re suggested to track the food you’re eating each day so that you can understand where you’re at, compare that to where you should be, and make the adjustments to get where you want to be.
Getting more efficient with your business’s time is no different.
If you find that you and/or your team aren’t getting enough things done in a day, spend a week tracking your time. It doesn’t have to be super fancy – even just a simple Excel sheet or Google spreadsheet will suffice.
Think about the work that you or your team does and identify some general buckets that cover everything you do. These might look like Customer Service, Social Media Management, Product Development, Sales Calls, etc. There’s no right answer here, but try and come up with at least 6 and no more than 12 buckets.
Once you have your buckets defined, create a simple spreadsheet that has a few columns in it: Date, Task Name, Start Time, End Time, Work Bucket, and Employee Name if you are doing this for more than just yourself. Add a “Duration” column as well. You can use a simple formula in the duration column to calculate the difference between the start and end time that will tell you how long you spent on the item.
Collect data for a week or two in your spreadsheet. For each task you work on, add a row in the spreadsheet and complete each column.
Once you have some data in the spreadsheet, you can use a pivot table to show you the work buckets and how much time was spent in each bucket. This will allow you and your team to see where time is being spent and identify areas where you might be spending too much time.
After you’ve identified these areas for improvement, get to work on improving those areas. Look to eliminate anything you’re doing that isn’t providing real value to your customers. Reduce time spent in areas where you can’t eliminate.
There are some additional tools you can look into if you want to take time tracking to the next level. Apps such as Time Doctor and Rescue Time are available to track time automatically and provide various reports on time spent.
Repeat this process as often as needed to keep you and your team working with maximum efficiency!
Questions or comments? Send us a message by contacting us via the Contact Us page.
For videos on how to use technology to improve your productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness, visit our partner channel, Beeline Tech Group on Youtube.