Managing your time is not productive work, its overhead – the only reason tracking and managing your time is worthwhile is that it saves you so much time later.
Now if you accept that time management is overhead and not productive work we need to see how we can minimize it.
The worst way to manage your time is to manually fill timesheets once a week, it takes too much time to try and remember what you did every hour of the previous week – and you are sure to miss quite a few hours and either bill one client for time spent on another or not bill for some billable work.
It's slightly better to manually fill timesheets every day, filling timesheet during actual work is just too distracting for most people.
This is where time tracking software comes in – it tracks your time so you won't have to do it manually – but not all time tracking software are equal.
The sad truth is that most time tracking software are built for employers or project managers and not for the people who's time they need to track (employees, freelancers or consultants) they look nice and have a lot of high level reports but they are a pain to use, and sometimes, they require so much work to set up that you'll spend more time on time tracking then it will save you.
The solution is simple, you should track how much time you spend messing with your time tracking tool – and if it takes too much of your time just replace it.
And now for a little bit of shameless self promotion - I obviously use my own time tracking software – yaTimer and I track not only the time I spend on my projects but also the time I spend on my time tracking, and so far, this time has been negligible.
My number one design goal is to make yaTimer the easiest and most efficient time tracking solution, so I do anything I can to save time for my user – for example all the operation you're likely to do during your workday are just one click away from the main application window.
posted @ Monday, January 14, 2008 4:43 PM