Fixed schedules and complicated projects create problems for professionals to finish their work on time. Time tracking can help employees effectively and efficiently manage the time they have by tracking the tasks they complete.

Why should you track time?

1) It helps you identify whether you are on schedule or not

2) You can make room for more work or push non-critical tasks to another day

3) It helps you allocate your time more effectively

4) You’ll be able to identify and remove unproductive tasks

5) It improves intra-group coordination

Steps to track time with ease

1) Identify reasons for tracking time

There is always a greater chance of success if you understand why you are doing a particular activity. Your colleagues may have told you to track your time. But unless you are convinced about the benefits it will bring you and your work, you may never implement time tracking.

2) Work with your team to set up a process

Time tracking works best when done throughout the team. Speak to your team members about the benefits time tracking will bring. Show facts, figures, and statistics from research on time tracking. Conduct a test session to see whether the system works for your team or not. Once you decide to include time tracking in your daily schedule, you can always work towards improving the process.

3) Implement it on a project

In order to experience the benefits of time tracking first hand, professionals need to implement it during live projects. Start by categorizing the projects based on criteria – for instance, the tasks to be completed or stages of project life cycle. Next, divide these tasks into sub-tasks. Keep going until you have your entire project charted out.

When it comes to implementation, create a tracker and make sure you log in the start-time and the finish-time. Always log in the time you spent on breaks. This will help you estimate the actual amount of time spent on each task. Harvest, ClickTime, and Hubstaff are time tracking tools you could consider.

4) Account for non-project work

Your time won’t just be spent on the project you’re handling. You may need to attend team meetings, seminars, organizational events and more. It’s important to take into account all of these activities as they have a major impact on the time utilized to complete the task. Logging in the times of any non-project activities in your tracker will help you get better results.

5) Review your progress

Check your progress on a weekly basis. Your tracker will help you identify where you lost time and why. If the reason for the loss of time is common throughout the team, you can brainstorm ways to eliminate these unproductive tasks. Most important is to maintain an FAQ database where your team can post queries regarding time tracking. An experienced member can answer these questions and over time this document will help you set a clear process for time tracking, which will be beneficial for new and old employees alike.