Even the most organised creatives are not fond of filling out their timesheets. Actually, doing so is often perceived as a tiresome chore that, ironically (or not), takes a lot of time and most of us loathe doing it. But maybe now, as the world of work is being turned upside down, it is a good time to embrace some positives changes?
The objectives of tracking time are pretty clear for a manager: analysing productivity, billing clients accurately, tracking projects’ progress, and much more. But what are yours?
Gaining insight and understanding regarding your work patterns and behavior can not only be beneficial for your efficiency and productivity but also enhance your working life balance, so you actually spend more time on doing what you like.
1. PRACTICE BETTER SELF-AWARENESS
It’s important to know your limits. Likewise, as a creative, it’s helpful to have an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing the time required for each task empowers you with a little more awareness and can also give you an insight into the tasks you enjoy and those you, perhaps, find a little more challenging.
Ask yourself which tasks you find most fulfilling and take the time to acknowledge the type of projects you struggle with. Being aware of this can help you outline future goals and development needs with your manager.
In essence, logging your time helps you to be more mindful of your daily hours and productivity, which can help you plan your time more effectively for both the long and short term.
2. YOUR TIME IS VALUABLE FOR THE BUSINESS
Keeping a record of your time on each work task or project forces you to become more accountable for your workload. It’s crucial, particularly in a remote working landscape, to provide that visible record of your work efforts, not necessarily because management want to review your efficiency, more because your hard work equates to value for the client.
More accurate time forecasting
Having a record of everyone’s time allows managers (and clients where necessary) to understand the effort that has been invested. As managers become more aware of how long a particular task takes, that often means less pressure on you as they can allocate time with a more realistic level of expectation for future projects.
3. BRING EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE
It’s about trust and flexibility
Honesty and reliability when it comes to filling out your timesheets will elicit a sense of trust between you, your colleagues and your management. Religiously logging and filling your time means your manager can easily access a record of your hard work. Building this data allows managers to let go a little and trust in the integrity of your work. Building that bond of trust over time means that senior members of the team will be more inclined to continue allowing more flexible, amenable work schedules that allow you to work around your routine and your personal commitments.
4. SWITCH OFF
Having such accessible visibility of your weekly completed work means you might feel better about switching off. Likewise, with time tracking, you might think twice about clocking on of a Thursday evening to ‘just quickly respond to that email’. As we inhabit this ‘always on’ world, where homeworking blurs the lines between work and leisure time, time logging software helps to set more boundaries. Being more conscious of the hours we put in can evoke a real sense of achievement and allows us to give ourselves permission to switch off at the end of the working day.