Most of us using online time tracking software are already tracking the important stuff, like client work and internal projects. But there are plenty of other miscellaneous tasks we perform day-to-day that we don’t think to track, because they aren’t billable or directly related to any current projects. When we take the time to track these activities, we can make new discoveries into how we are managing our time.
Try this time tracking tip for a few weeks. You will be surprised at the outcome. Start a timer when you sit down to eat or head out to lunch. Stop it when you get back. Tally up the totals at the end. Chances are, you aren’t taking a long enough lunch break. Let’s admit it, we’re driven and we work hard and the fact that we take such short lunches, or eat at our desks, shows just how much. Want to restore some work-life balance in your day? Start by taking a longer lunch break.
You may already track the time you spend travelling to visit with clients, but most of us don’t (and if we do, we probably aren’t billing our clients for this time). We spend a lot of time on the road and in the air to meet with our clients. Just how much varies from business to business. What you might find is that travel time can be re-purposed into billable time — sketching out design comps, writing copy, or coding on a laptop. If you happen to be spending a lot of time behind the wheel, consider charging that to the client as well.
Learning Opportunities and Conferences
Where would our careers be if we did not take the time to advance them? Keeping ourselves relevant requires us to keep up with current web trends and technologies. One of the best ways to do this is through courses and conferences, where we can interact with colleagues while packing our brains with knowledge. Tracking the time we spend learning new skills is useful for two reasons. First, it gives us an idea as to how much time we are devoting to staying ahead of that proverbial bell curve. Second, it helps us predict how much unbillable time we’ll spend learning so we can plan for upcoming events.