Time tracking matters to your bottom line.
If you're a service based business, time is your currency.
Even if you price your services as a package and not an hourly rate, time matters.
When you don't track your time, thoughts like this float through your mind on a 24-hour loop...
"I know I did stuff today, but I don't feel like I accomplished anything"
"I wonder if I'm making any or enough money on my packages"
"I never have enough time to do ... for my business"
So, what can tracking your time tell you? It can tell you how much time you're spending with each client. How much time you're working on growing your business versus spending on the admin activities. It'll tell you if you're not very good at focusing and frequently skip from task to task.
It can even tell you what activities are sucking you into the time black hole.
Client meetings that last for hours, time black hole.
Social media wandering, time black hole.
Internet research, time black hole.
Graphics, time black hole.
If you want to track your time, get the Free 7-day Time Tracking Journal.
Now, I'm not saying you need to track your time, all the time forever and ever. And you don't need to track it in 10-minute increments. I am saying you should spend at least a week every couple months tracking your time. If you're beta testing a package, it's a good time to track. If you feel overwhelmed, also a good time to track. If your business is in growth mode, track your time.
Why is time-tracking important?
We are notoriously bad at estimating time and frequently under estimate how long a task takes.
It's the same concept as a food journal for people who are trying to diet. Without a food journal, dieters frequently forget those small snacks or the dessert someone shared with you and it all adds up. Without a time journal we frequently forget the phone call from a friend, the check-ins on social media, email, or the Instagram rabbit hole you followed.
When you track your time, you'll be able to learn if you've accurately estimated the amount of time accounted for in your prices to make a decent profit. I find many client forget to count all their time.
Have you estimated spending too few hours than you actually do, and realize you've been working for free?
You might need to change up your offerings based on how much time you're actually spending, including all the client/ group emails or managing the Facebook groups.
Your time tracking may also show you aren't focused and frequently switch tasks, A LOT! When you switch tasks, it ends up taking about 20 minutes to engage your brain in the new task, so you could be losing hours in your day!
Time tracking might show you are spending a lot of time on administrative or repetitive tasks, that you hate and are sucking valuable time from bringing clients in the door. Time to consider outsourcing, hiring a VA or getting a system on board.
Tracking all hours for a week will help you also find time outside of ‘work’ hours to use in other ways. Or maybe you find that work has crept into your non-work hours all the time and realize why you are, burned out!
For a week feel free to be a compulsive time checker!
You might even find the simple act of recording your time, actually improves your productivity.
Track your time for a week and let's hear what you found!