12. Jan 2021

Time Tracking Or Time Wasting? How To Be Productive At Work

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Tracking my time effectively

The corporate time-suck is such a trending topic right now that plenty of businesses are posting stories with plenty of advice (most of it pointless). However, with all the attention given to it at the moment, we thought it was time we stood up and shared our thoughts on the matter. So hit the share button or grab your highlighter pens because the chances are someone in your office needs to read this. Maybe that someone is you.

We all know that feeling when you’ve been in the zone and absolutely crushing and then something or someone comes along and distracts you from it. You start asking yourself “How long did I spend doing that?”  or “How long is it going to take me to catch up on this work?”.  When your productivity dips, the last thing you want to do is remember to track your work hours. That’s where a time tracking app comes in. Rather than constantly watching the clock or relying on your memory after you’ve completed the work, a time-keeping app does all the work for you, automatically.

Not only can having these logs help you to pinpoint where your biggest distractions are coming from, but it can also help with forward planning. So the next time the boss asks you to complete a task, you’ll already know exactly how long it will take you. Increased productivity saves time and money for all departments… what manager wouldn’t want that?

Take the hassle out of the boring admin 

Technology has advanced so much now, and the wealth of it that’s available to you is astounding. If you’re more of a pen and paper kind of business – we know a lot of companies, such as recruitment agencies still work in this way – then we have some helpful tips to help you ditch the tedious parts of your role so that you can focus on the important things.

  • Scheduling software – Whether it’s for booking in appointments with clients or keeping track of team members shifts, this kind of software automates the scheduling of events, employees, rooms and other resources. Leaving you with room to make a cup of tea before you jump on Zoom… again.
  • Communication tech – Whether you’re working from home with three screens and a headset or just sat with your laptop in Starbucks you need to be able to stay in touch with your colleagues. Software such as Slack and Microsoft Teams allows for speedy communication without the hassle of having to reply to large email chains
  • Project Management tools – If you’re someone who struggles with procrastination or regularly hops from one task to another, then project management software will help you organise all your tasks and keep on top of everything. Tools such as Trello and Asana are powerful enough to help you take back control of your day.

If you like the sound of some of these but need the go-ahead from your manager, then whack a short proposal together and present it to them. The worst they can say is no. But if you can make a sound business case for why you and your team need them then it should be a no-brainer! Make sure you outline the cost of what you need, as well as the cost-savings that can be achieved. Eliminating the repetitive or mundane tasks that take up a lot of your time can only be seen as a positive thing.

They still need convincing? Okay, so before you bang your head against the table again… talk with them about the changes happening in the world right now. Your customers expect next level service from you. They don’t expect you to be wasting your time when you should be working productively and doing the best you can for them. Furthermore, everyone on the planet is adopting new technologies and processes every day. If you’re not staying ahead of the curve, what’s to stop them taking their business to your competitors?

It’s about the journey, not the destination 

The mantra of many a procrastinator, the above statement is more true than you’d think. Achieving your goals is important, but it can never happen if you don’t know what way to go. The same applies in business, the goals will remain out of reach without effective workplace processes. You need to know which way to go to achieve your ambitions.

It’s not enough to just have processes in place though. You have to get the buy-in from the whole team to make it a success. So whether you’re asking everyone to use time tracking software or create a profile on Slack, it’s important to explain the ‘why’ behind everything that’s being done. If you focus on building confidence within the team, showing them how these new processes will work then you will encourage stronger relationships both in and out of the workplace.

Businesses need to lead from the top-down as well, you can’t enforce something in the workplace if the leaders aren’t passionate about it too.

I’m feeling motivated now 

Great! Go smash that project you’ve been putting off, have that chat with your boss and most importantly, remember that these are difficult times and everyone is suffering from some form of work fatigue.

Just don’t make your job any harder for yourself than it needs to be.