It’s very cool when you set your work day by yourself, you decide on your own when and how much to work, and when it’s time to have some rest. However, sooner or later, you start to muse about how productive have you spent the day, why today so little tasks have been done, how you can increase the number of completed tasks. All such questions can easily be answered by special software-services. Now it’s not necessary to follow the working time, write manually long lists of tasks and puzzle over what is going wrong. Choose your favorite time tracker, install on your gadgets and continue to create productively.
To understand how to increase your productivity, first of all, you need to find out what exactly you are wasting time on. To do this, track what you are doing during the day. Then in the evening, you will see what you could not do, but what was worth more time. Of course, if your workday mainly consists of different meetings (if you, for example, a doctor or a lawyer), this approach is not particularly suitable for you. However, it can be applied even after work hours, if you notice that your evenings and days off pass by watching TV shows and social networks.How to accurately and effectively track your time
Here are three key rules that will make productivity tracking more useful:
– Honesty. Nobody except you’ll see your records, so do not lie to yourself. If you are not honest with yourself, there is no reason even to start.
– Constancy. To get a full picture of what you’re spending time on, you’ll need at least two weeks. Keep records only when you live in your usual rhythm (not before vacation or holidays).
– Meticulousness. Think not in hours, but in minutes. For example, in the first days, write down all your actions from morning to night, accurate to every minute. Then you can switch to 5-, and later to 15-minute intervals.
Now there are a lot of digital assistants that automatically monitor how do you spend your time. And although they may be useful (especially if you did not record for several hours and forgot what you were doing at this or that minute), you still should not rely on them completely. Only you know what did you do – worked or lounged.
– Timing. The app helps to focus on doing necessary things and not to forget any important detail of the project. Timing shows you how much time have you devoted to different activities and how efficient have you spent this time.
– RescueTime. This program runs in the background and monitors how much time you spend on different sites and applications. It is suitable for different operating systems, including Android. You can also set goals for the program and monitor the growth of your productivity.
– Toggl. Although initially this program was intended for freelancers, it is quite suitable for everyone. It has convenient graphs that visually display your progress.
– ATracker (iOS only). Just add your usual business, click on them when you started, and click the next task as soon as you finish the previous one. The application will determine the time automatically.
– Evernote. Like ATracker, it’s a combination of a digital and an analog method. You use a digital device, but only for recording. Evernote can be used as an ordinary paper notepad.
In two weeks tracking of time will become a habit. Now it is possible not to write down all the actions so carefully. Just pay attention to time (at least during the working day) and notice whether you manage to do your best. If you feel that you are distracted quite often, start tracking again. Even if after this two-weeks experiment you won’t track your time anymore, try to repeat control tracking experience approximately once a year to estimate your habits change.