Why Tracking Your Time is Important

John Krautzel
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Time management is a vital skill when you need to complete daily tasks or stay on task during a large project. Tracking your time helps you to figure out how to best manage your days. It also helps you determine which time-wasting activities you can eliminate and where you can make improvements. Examine these four things that illustrate why you should track your daily tasks and how doing so helps in the long run.

1. Expose Time-Wasting Activities

Checking your Facebook feed for five minutes isn't a big deal, right? However, when you do that five times per day, that adds up to 25 minutes of wasted time. A laughing baby video here and a cute puppy video there adds up. Consider tracking your time with a background app such as RescueTime to expose the activities that waste your time at work.

Once you find out what wastes your time, you have a chance to make a concerted effort to change your habits for the better. Re-allocate that wasted time into something more productive.

2. Record Your Daily Activities

Tracking your time with apps makes it easy for you to keep a record of your daily activities. These programs can also help you determine the amount of extra time you have each week. Choose the specific tasks you want to complete each week, and put them on a to-do list. As you go through your week, check items off of your list. If you find that you still have trouble completing work within a reasonable amount of time, consider delegating tasks that are mundane or delaying tasks that aren't too important.

When your boss asks you how you spend your time, you can now give specific answers. For example, you can let him know exactly what you were doing at 9:30 a.m. the previous Wednesday. This makes you appear more productive and valuable to employers. Use this to your advantage when asking for a raise or requesting a promotion.

3. Hold Yourself Accountable

Tracking your time makes it simpler to hold yourself accountable. For example, if you tell your supervisor that the commute to work is one hour when it's really 45 minutes, you're being dishonest. Instead, get to work within 45 minutes, and use that extra 15 minutes to check work emails or complete a task. Hold yourself accountable for your actions, and your boss will likely take notice.

4. Transform Your Efficiency

Improve your daily activities by tracking your time and improving your efficiency. Spend less time idly thinking, researching or watching videos, and make an effort to be as productive as possible. If you don't want to use technological tools to help you keep track of your time, use a piece of paper separated into three columns that list the activity you do followed by the start and end time. The paper method makes your tracking efforts more conscious and obvious as you work it into your day.

Tracking your time gives you the impetus to make changes for the better in your professional life. Don't squander another minute. Figure out how to become the productivity guru of your office by following these four things that demonstrate your ability to manage your time wisely.

Photo courtesy of etaphop photo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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