Subtractive Time Tracking With Multiple Timers

John Reeve | October 30th, 2008 | ,

One of our customers recently clued us in on a unique time tracking method they devised using multiple timers and simple arithmetic. The challenge they faced was finding out how much time they weren’t tracking. Most of us do take breaks or get distracted throughout our workday, but we don’t track that time. Here is a breakdown for their clever and simple workaround.

  1. Start a general time at the start of your day. This timer will be running the whole day, so give it a descriptive name to remind you why it’s there. Something like “baseline.”
  2. Go about your workday in a normal fashion, starting and stopping timers, applying time to tasks and projects, accumulating time on your timesheet.
  3. At the end of your day, stop the general timer you created in step 1. Compare that total to the daily total on your timesheet. The difference will show you how much time was lost.

Now that you know how much time you’ve wasted, it’s up to you to figure out how to fix the leak the next day. Let us know if you have any tips.

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Intervals Blog

A collection of useful tips, tales and opinions based on decades of collective experience designing and developing web sites and web-based applications.

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Intervals is online time, task and project management software built by and for web designers, developers and creatives.
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John Reeve
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John Reeve

John is a co-founder, web designer and developer at Pelago. His blog posts are inspired by everyday encounters with designers, developers, creatives and small businesses in general. John is an avid reader and road cyclist.
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Jennifer Payne
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Jennifer Payne

Jennifer is the Director of Quality and Efficiency at Pelago. Her blog posts are based largely on her experience working with teams to improve harmony and productivity. Jennifer is a cat person.
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Braden Jones
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Braden Jones

Braden is a co-founder and strategist at Pelago. His blog posts draw from his worldwide business travels and forays into the retail apparel industry. Braden loves to surf and recently adopted a Doka named Moose.
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Michael Payne
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Michael Payne

Michael is a co-founder and product architect at Pelago. His contributions stem from experiences managing the development process behind web sites and web-based applications such as Intervals. Michael drives a 1990 Volkswagen Carat with a rebuilt 2.4 liter engine from GoWesty.
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