Time clocks have been used for a long while in workplaces all over the world. The familiar punch card clock has undergone some development in recent years. One of the benefits of that development is that the time clock can now further assist in the crucial area of both personal and business time management.

From Staff Management to Time Management

The original concept of the time clock was to correctly track when staff arrived at and left the workplace for the day, thus providing the payroll officer with data on which to base wage payments. This made workers responsible to be at work for the full day and not “clock-off” early, without permission. But that still left large blocks of time unaccounted for in which staff could coffee break, “fresh air” break and in more recent times join in office gossip, check emails, browse the Internet, and any other number of ways to waste time in the workplace.

Hence the 21st Century savvy person understands the need to manage the very important resource of time to higher levels than ever before. They have been tackling management-related issues such as task accountability, detailed job descriptions, training, planning, and organization skills. At the same time, other methods of time and test management were developing.

Scientific Management

A scientific method developed at the turn of the 20th Century by Frederick Taylor introduced the idea that management included not only the above time management ideas to work efficiently but also some incentives for human workers to implement and accomplish the tasks they were given. Wage incentives were one method, gifts and bonuses were another, even career promotions have been used for this endeavor.

The adoption of these management styles meant it was now in the interest of every individual, manager, and staff, to efficiently use their time and to accurately record it. Hence the time clock moved from being solely a payroll clocking device to an all-around time management tool, allowing individual tasks to be tracked, traced, and linked to individual staff, management and projects. These benefits contributed to more accurate job costing and further improvements in overall financial management.

Finding a Suitable Time Clock

Currently, an abundance of project management, task tracking, time and job costing software is on the market that is designed to deliver businesses highly customized time management and attendance systems that integrate at every level of the organization. Many are available online and have built-in functionality for live updates and real-time reports and summaries. These are of great assistance to large organizations but are too complicated for an individual to set up for their own personal time management. See this page for some popular time management applications.

Individuals need mainly to list tasks, arrange or organize those tasks to sort out what needs to be done. A quick review should itemize which order the tasks are to be done. Then track the amount of time they spend on each task. The simple time clock is exactly what is required (imagine having a Bundy card for each task, clocking on when you start the task, and clocking off when you complete it) then you have a record of how long each task has taken. Very simple very basic but an essential tool to manage time effectively. A good example of such a useful tool can be found in the Resource Links section of this page it is a completely free online time clock and would be useful for personal time management. Check out any of the resources listed for other great time management ideas.

Time Managment Tips

Do you have some useful Time Management ideas or tips? Do you use a time clock system that works for you?
Feel free to share them by posting a comment below, or suggest a resource that belongs in the links section.