Avoid time leaks

The hour has come to track your time

The working day has changed beyond anyone’s imagination since employees ‘clocked in’ and ‘clocked off’ for the day simply to show their employers that they were putting in the required shift.

Nowadays keeping tabs on tasks during a busy working day can be an awesome challenge for the most organised of individuals and organisations.

For employers and employees alike, though, time-tracking software has become an integral tool in ensuring time spent at work is as productive and fulfilling as possible.

The market-leading software that has been developed and refined by TallyPro over the years offers a comprehensive time-recording system, accurately recording and costing time, expenses and billings against clients and projects.

Such software is of vital importance to people who operate in a variety of industries, particularly those that require billing on hourly rates, such as accountants, freelancers and lawyers.

Time tracking is flexible and, crucially, can be tailored and customised for specific individual requirements – whether that is billing someone else or improving internal productivity – all with the aim of saving time, money and effort for all concerned.

With advances in technology, the ability to track time anywhere – from a website browser, smartphone or desktop computer – quickly and easily through a speedy set-up and submission process can reap significant rewards on an individual and organisational basis.

Avoiding ‘time leaks’

Helene Segura, author of The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer, is convinced that time tracking is “extremely beneficial” in a work setting.

“When you know you have to log your time for an employer, you tend to use your time more efficiently so that you’ll have ‘something good’ to document,” Segura says.

“For entrepreneurs who are their own bosses, time logging can help you discover where your time slips away – what I call ‘time leaks’.”

Peggy Duncan, a speaker and consultant on time management, agrees that vital opportunities to improve efficiencies emerge when time logging is adopted.

“I recommend a time log to help employees determine how they’re spending their time,” Duncan says.

“Are they working on priorities or busy work? Are the same people interrupting them: who and what do they want? All this should be captured in the log.”

According to Segura, time tracking enables individuals to analyse where and how ‘time leaks’ occur and therefore plan more accurately for future tasks.

“The good news is that once you realise why and how you’re participating in those behaviours, you can then plug those time leaks and regain time,” Segura says.

“Logging your time also helps you learn how long you actually take to complete various tasks. This information better helps you plan for future projects so that you don’t overschedule yourself.”

Return on investment

With organisations increasingly determined to keep budgets under control, some may be wary of spending money on a new time-tracking system.

However, Segura says that the potential for significantly improved efficiencies and positive operational changes over time must be considered when the question of return on investment is inevitably raised.

“It takes time and financial resources to research which tracking method will be best for the company, to develop policies for how the tracking will be completed, and then decide how that information will be used,” Segura adds.

“Many companies see the resource outlay and are not prepared to invest in improving efficiency. The companies that realise that this is an investment in increasing their profits are the ones that will drop the reluctance.

“They realise that tracking can help them estimate time, which will help them estimate labour hours needed on projects, which will help them create accurate proposals or hiring forecasts.”

With companies and individuals looking to gain an edge in an increasingly competitive business landscape, it is clear that the benefits of time tracking can no longer be ignored by any forward-thinking organisation.