Buffer Time – Adding the Element of Productivity Without Compromising Its Essence

Companies thrive with productive and efficient employees—as such, they seek and hire individuals who can dance the tango.

Employees, realizing how important productivity and efficiency are to their professional growth – seem to resonate with the company’s requirement.

Together, they work to cultivate a winning company culture

But somewhere, in the rush to be more productive and efficient—do more in less time—companies and employee themselves, overwork to such an extent that eventually down the line the productivity starts to suffer.

The Rush To Do More and Its Negative Implications

In the sight to do more and do more efficiently, employees lose sight of the important—the quality of work being produced.

When the quality of work that is being produced is not up to the mark, complaints from clients and customers start rolling in. When there is a pileup of negative feedbacks, the morale suffers. When the morale suffers, employees become demotivated and disinterested. When they become demotivated and disinterested, productivity and efficiency derails.

And that’s where, buffer time can help!

What is Buffer Time?

Buffer time is a type of microbreak that is exercised in between two tasks. When one task is over, you take a break before starting the next task. The break can be utilized in any way. This allows your brain to recover from the mental exertions of the previous task, and enables you to make a successful mental transition to the next task.

That little break you take, can help you retain the quality of work

And how quality retention correlates with productivity and efficiency in the long run… well that has already been discussed.

But what about the short term?

If buffer time is consuming a portion of your work hours — which in theory implicates to less time available for work, the question is, how are you able to do more in less time?

That’s where the correct implementation of buffer time comes in.

Correct Implementation of Buffer Time

You are taking a break and yet it is adding to your productivity in short term and long term—isn’t that truly wonderful?

Well that is what correct implementation of buffer time can help you achieve. From correct implementation, we want to imply using buffer time to do productive work and yet make it feel like a break.

  • You can use buffer time to organize your workstation, check emails and address other issues that otherwise serve as a distraction for you when doing a task. The time being served and wasted in addressing a work interruption gets compensated in buffer time.

 

  • By implementing buffer time as a contingency plan, you shorten the window of completing a task and tell your brain that it needs to get the task done within that defined time window. When your brain gets told it has less time, it reprograms itself accordingly. And if there are instances when you can’t get the work done in the defined time window, you can use buffer time to complete it. This way, your productivity never suffers.

Employees and companies should strive for improved productivity and increased efficiency, but they must remember that following a work-packed schedule is not the way to do it. Every work schedule should be punctuated with microbreaks and buffer time.

Looking for a solution that can help you get the most out of your limited time at work? Try Chrometa, a passive time tracking solution, that allows you to keep record of expended time on each activity and task you perform.

Using the data, you can conveniently decide the window of buffer time to integrate within your work schedule and further optimize your time management strategies for improved productivity and increased efficiency. Start your free trial today!

You Have a Time Management Plan, But It’s Not Working – Why?

You wake up in the morning, come to work early, follow a time management plan to assist you—you’re unable to complete work—then leave for the night.

It’s clear your time management plan, strategy, mantra or whatever you call it, is NOT working!

There are times you are not able to complete your work. And at most times, you’re leaving late, despite coming in early.

So, why is your time management plan not working?

Maybe you’re making these mistakes…

Mistake #1: Multitask to Get More Work Done in Lesser Time

Forget it – it won’t work!

Multitasking means continuously switching between two tasks at the same time. When you keep switching from task A to B and B to A, you are not able to give your brain enough time to recover and adapt before moving on to the other task. Your quality of work suffers, your efficiency fails and your productivity suffers.

You see, even Mike Cannon-Brookes is against multitasking.

Mistake #2: The Time Management Plan That Does NOT Accommodate Work Breaks

Work breaks are important—not only vacations but those mini breaks that you should take frequently during working hours. Research suggests that a 17-minute break is a must for every 53 minutes of work you do.

Make space for microbreaks in your time management plan—it will do wonders for you.

Mistake #3: Focusing on the Secondary

You need to plan your day as such, so that you get the ‘real work’ done in early hours of the day. Because that is when you are most upbeat and high on energy. Leave meetings, reading and replying to emails, organizing your desk and other secondary tasks later for the day.

Mistake #4: Not Keeping Track of the Time Each Activity Takes

A successful time management plan is a simple one. It is free of complexities and free of all those activities that are not optimized for time savings. But until or unless you don’t keep track of the time each activity is taking, how are you going to eliminate the complexities and work towards optimization?

Therefore, to make your time management a success, it’s important that you track time.

Review your time management strategy, and if you find any of these mistakes being a part of it, restructure the strategy for effective execution.

Looking for a Time Tracking Tool?

Chrometa has been designed to serve as an effective time tracking solution that can be installed on any device and can be used to track time for all types of activities—including your emails. Trial it for free.

The Temporary Knock-out: That Email Just Cost You 23 Minutes!

How can you improve your time management skills?

You are busy working. You know you have to get this file ready in the next couple of hours for it to be delivered to the client, without violating the deadline.

Suddenly, something pops up on your computer screen:

It’s an email notification.

For the time being, your instincts take over.

You click on the notification to see who has sent you the email. And while you’re at it, you click on the email to open it and read its contents.

That little pop of distraction has now turned into an interruption!

Naturally, after reading the email, you’re obliged to reply to it—that is, if it’s an important email.

Soon you realize, there are other unread emails in your inbox as well.

The interruption turns into a complete—albeit temporary—dissociation from work.

And yes, in the end you were able to sort it all out, getting back to work…

… getting back to work

You don’t remember where you were.

You have been temporarily knocked out!

The Actual Cost of Workplace Distractions

Situations like these characterize our routine office life. Sometimes, these distractions are in the form of email, a call or a message on your mobile, while at other times a gentle tap on your shoulder from your colleague – asking you to join in for a 5-minute microbreak.

But the promised spans of these distractions, hardly ever prove to be so—the actual cost of workplace distractions is so much more.

In fact, according to a study conducted by a group of researchers from the University of California Irvine, the cost of a single workplace distraction amounts to a total of 23 minutes and 15 seconds on average.

This includes the time served in the corresponding activity and the time taken to recover from the after-effects of the distraction.

You had to deliver the file to your client in the next 2 hours. You are now only left with 1 hour, 36 minutes and 45 seconds.

Tips to Minimize Workplace Distractions

Obviously, you cannot eliminate workplace distractions but you can take steps to minimize them. Here are few tips:

  • Re-set your email refresh rate to at least 30 minutes. It can be varied depending on the nature of your job.
  • Keep your mobile phone at silent.
  • Maintain a microbreaks schedule and let your colleagues know about it.
  • If possible, wear headsets to keep background noise to bare minimum.
  • Use a time tracker app, like Chrometa, to monitor how much time you spend on the various daily activities. This would help you to identify the sources of distractions and then strategize accordingly.

For every employee, effective time management skills are very important to be productive and efficient at work. It also helps to keep off work related stress, thus making sure, you remain in good health.

Take that first step towards productive, efficient and work related stress free life, with our 30-day free Chrometa trial.

A Billion Dollar Advice: Effective Time Management Skills from Richard Branson et al.

As business professionals, we respect them, look up to them and some of us even worship them.

We are talking about the self-made billionaires—Richard Branson, Nathan Blecharczyk, Mike Cannon and others.

They are our inspirations

And when they say something, we listen closely. For their words serve as a billion-dollar advice.

Today, through this post, we would like to serve our readers with such golden nuggets of information—bringing you the time management tips that these successful people implement in their own lives to accomplish and excel.

So, let’s learn!

How Richard Branson Makes Most of the 1440 Minutes in a Day?

By being physically active!

Richard Branson talks about the standing and walking meetings, labelling it as one of his “favorite” tricks. In an interview to Kevin Kruse, which was later published in the book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, Richard Branson says that stand up meetings help him to get his work done more quickly. It helps him to make a faster decision.

Expanding on the established theme further, in an exclusive interview to FourHourBodyPress, Richard Branson says:

“By working out and exercise. It keeps me going, it keeps my brain functioning well and I end up achieving twice as much in a day…”

How Nathan Blecharczyk Effectively Manages His Time?

By swimming against the current—not literally!

Nathan Blecharczyk adopts a very interesting approach to managing his day to day tasks effectively and productively. He fills his calendar in a reverse order, i.e., the tasks that many of us perform in the morning—such as meetings—he reserves them for later hours in the day. This allows him to focus his early day energy in tasks that are “real work”, and get them out of the way quickly.

How Marcus Lemonis Gets Everything Done in the Space of 24 Hours?

By staying organized and prioritizing the important stuff.

Every morning when he gets up, the first thing Marcus Lemonis does is, he writes down the five most important things that he wants to get done on that particular day.  He calls it “My knockout list”.

This allows him to channel his time and efforts towards getting the most important things done for the day, and if there is any time left he then focuses on the secondary.

How Mike Cannon-Brookes Manages to Do Everything So Smoothly?

By focusing on just one task at a time.

Mike Cannon-Brookes believes that multitasking makes us less productive. In theory, this makes sense as multitasking in essence can prove to be a source of interruption. Where the practical proof is considered, Mike Cannon’s success supports the practicality of the theory.

Let’s implement!

Shape Effective Time Management Strategies with the Help of Chrometa

Chrometa allows you to automatically track the time spent by you while performing your daily activities. This way, you can remain organized, streamlined and where there is scope for time saving, you can shape effective time management strategies on the basis of generated time sheet. Start your free trial today!

Deployment of Time Tracking System: Getting the Creative on Your Side

If your company is implementing time tracking for employees for the first time, be prepared for some resistance.

It’s no surprise that people often aren’t used to change. Some might find it disrespectful that companies don’t trust their employees. Others might take offense at time tracking, calling it just another method of surveillance..

But if are to improve your staff efficiency while maintaining visibility for your projects, there are some steps you can take to bring your staff on bored. So at the very least, they are willing to try a new system of tracking their work progress.

How to Make Time Tracking Easier for Employees

Talk to Your Managers First

It’s always best to implement a new system gradually. Start off with your managers and have them use the software so they understand its workings and benefits. Once they’ve become used to the software, introduce time tracking to the rest of your employees. Your managers need to support the idea first. With their help, you’ll have a much easier time integrating the software’s use.

Justify the Solution

Everyone needs answers so do your prep work beforehand. When introducing time tracking solutions to your employees, explain why you decided to do so. How it can help you work more efficiently, and how it can benefit your workers as well. Your employees need to know that there’s something in it for them as well.

Give Them an Incentive to Use it

Using such software makes life much easier for employees as well. Companies using such apps can offer remote work options, work bonuses based on the hours their employees put in and paid leaves. Such apps also allow employees to prove their worth and dedication since they are able to show just how much time they spend working.

Show its Shared Vision

Time tracking apps such as Chrometa are so successful because they allow companies to practice three major components of their work system; transparency, efficiency and honesty.

The company strives to be more efficient with seamless tracking systems. The app offers insight into how a project is going and by doing so, explains the structure of the team as well. And finally, it holds everyone accountable for their hard work. This helps improve leadership skills for the talented many.

Find an Easier Tool

The time tracking app you choose for your employees must work seamlessly. It should be usable on multiple operating systems and mobile devices. It should not take up too much memory and should be easy to integrate with different project management tools. It should accurately collect all data and should work even if the employees are offline from the network. Of course, Chrometa satisfies all such demands.

Enforcing the Policy

Although it may be tough at first, be steadfast when enforcing this new time tracking policy. The system should be implemented for everyone, so don’t be lax with senior employees that might be against the new system. Make it clear that they must use this new software so they can be paid on time.

These tips will surely make it much easier for you to implement a time tracking system without facing any workplace challenges!

Copywriters, Here Are Some Time Management Hacks for You!

Whether it’s a 2-page article, or a well-worded tweet, it takes time and skill to perfectly write such content. And for a copywriter, doing so can be exhausting.

Time management can be an iffy subject, since writers cannot produce quality content in an hour or 30 minutes, no matter how qualified they are. They can still improve their efficiency through a few simple steps:

Time Management Hacks for Copywriters

Know When to Say No

Saying no may not be the simplest thing. But at the end of the day, you can’t really work if you’re not able to. Being overworked and burnt out is quite common for copywriters since they have to employ their brains to get the job done, and that’s even more exhausting. Say no if you know you won’t be able to give 100% to the job at hand.

Then start afresh the next day. You’ll notice the difference in your focus and creative skills.

Remove Your Distractions or Compartmentalize Them

Social media, the news or even that review you’ve wanted to read of a favorite book, all can seem very tempting when you begin to work. Immediately before you start writing, turn off your Wi-Fi and put your phone away at a safe distance. If you need to call someone, do so after you’ve finished your work, or at least one part of it. Think of it as a reward for sitting still and working. Though it may seem strange at first, truth is that compartmentalizing your tasks can divert your focus back to work.

Track Your Time

Use time tracking software for your mobile and system such as Chrometa. Such tracking apps allow you to work more efficiently, since you can learn how you spend your time. By tracking your work habits, you can improve aspects which need to be fixed and gain more by separating your work from your distracted time. You can also manage time better, thus meeting deadlines earlier and that’s good news for everyone.

Take a Break

Calm your mind while you work. Your brain needs rest, just like your body does after it’s been working for a long time. Have a little pause, close your eyes and flex your joints. Do some physical exercises during these pauses to energize yourself for your next task. You’ll work at a much faster pace than you think.

It’s easy to waste your time if you don’t have anyone or anything to guide you. With these tips, you’ll find it much easier to finish your work without the headache of deadline, creative deadlocks and weak content.

How Mr. Flash Learnt the Importance of Time Tracking the Hard Way

Completing a project can be a challenging task if you are not capable of managing your schedule properly. By spending too much time on unimportant tasks and ignoring the more important ones, you’ll find it to impossible to honor deadlines and complete your projects on time.

Using a time tracking device can help you monitor your activities and keep track of the time you spend on the various tasks you perform.

Here’s a story about a hard working employee, Mr. Flash, who realized why it is necessary to keep track of time.

Mr. Flash was a dutiful employee in a large corporation and had been assigned a very important project that had to be completed within a week.

“A week!” said Mr. Flash, “that’s plenty of time to complete it. I’ll do the other tasks assigned to me first and then start working on the project.”

The days passed by and Mr. Flash was so busy working on various other tasks he was given that he didn’t have time to even think about the high priority project. Finally, Friday had arrived and Mr. Flash suddenly realized that he had didn’t have enough time to complete the project. He had wasted the entire week focusing on things that could have been delayed rather than working on the project that was important.

Mr. Flash had learnt his lesson. It is very important to keep track of the time you spend on your tasks in order to manage them properly. Since Mr. Flash had spent too much time on less important activities he didn’t have time to complete the more urgent one on time.

The Benefits Of Using Time Tracking Software

Many kinds of time tracking software are available in the market for properly recording and analyzing your daily activities. Some of the benefits of using these programs are given below:

  • They can help you determine the amount of time that it takes you to complete a specific kind of activity.
  • Time tracking software can help you eliminate unnecessary time wastages by identifying activities that take up too much of your time.
  • You can also use time tracking software to track your standard work time and accurately determine the amount of overtime you put in and request adequate compensation for it.

Chrometa is a sophisticated time tracking solution that helps keep a proper record of the time you spend on different activities. It is one of the best time tracking software programs in the market that can help boost the productivity of your organization

Time Tracking – The Benefits for Ad Agencies

Time is money, especially if you’re in the advertising business.

With more companies presenting bigger, newer ideas to clients in numerous industries, competitive ad agencies need to manage their time in a way that allows them to benefit from improved employee performance and increased profitability. [Read more…]

Guide to Implementing A Time Tracking System in Your Business

Time tracking software can benefit all types of businesses regardless of their size.

Since time management plays an important role in the success of any business, such software helps them manage time in the most efficient way. They identify which activities are important for the business and which are not. So businesses can allocate time to each activity accordingly, thus, increasing their productivity.

If you want to make your business more productive, here is a guide to implementing a time tracking system in your business.

Time Tracking For A Meeting

According to a survey, 24% of employers reported meetings as one of the worst workplace productivity killer.

Using an employee time tracking software employers can find out for how long their employees were away for a meeting. The “away time” timer will start as soon as the mouse and the keyboard go idle note down the time duration for which it stayed idle. Then, at the end of the day the employer can have a look at the away time entries and see how much time was wasted.

This way if the employees have two half hour meetings each week, it means each employee is wasting one hour for meetings. Added to this is time required to go and settle down in the meeting room. Since the employer will know how much time is being wasted in this process, they can cut down the time for the meetings to increase the productivity of the employees. The best thing about this software is that there cannot be any discrepancies in time reporting. The timings will be automatically recorded.

Time Tracking For Projects And Evaluation

Having employee time management software can help employers evaluate the performance of their employees. Such software is able to capture their time on the computer passively as they work over different projects. They capture the URLs and websites accessed by employees and for how long they were on those pages.

According to another survey, more than 20% of employers are reported to have complained of their employees wasting time at work surfing the web or shopping online.

So, if your employees are not meeting project deadlines, using this software you can figure out how they are wasting time, or if they actually require training for time management.

A time tracking system for your business can provide you with data that can help you in decision making and analyzing the productivity of your workforce. At Chrometa, you will get the most efficient time tracking software for your business. Sign up now for a free 30-Day trail.

How Can Time Tracking Software Give You Peace Of Mind?

The world we live in today is advancing constantly, and people do not seem to be getting enough time to live and enjoy life as they adapt to changes.

In the midst of fulfilling all their responsibilities toward their family and achieving their personal goals, people have been consumed by the demands of modern life. They are always searching for ways to make the most of their time. Indeed, time has become precious for everyone.

Using time tracking software is one way you can make the most of your time. It allows you to record the time you spend on different tasks daily, eventually, helping you identify which of these consume more of your time and effort; or which ones are essential and bring in most gains.

This way, you are able to find out if you’ve actually spent time well. Here is how it can help you simplify life.

1. Differentiates Between Essential And Non-Essential Activities

Time is a limited resource; keeping track of it is important. On average, an individual in the United States today spends 129 minutes each day watching television. Life today offers a number of distractions so you will not want to be wasting a lot of time on non-essential activities. So, before involving in any activity you must ask yourself that whether taking part in a sport or watching videos over the internet is going to be a waste of time only, or will it add something of value to your life.

2. Helps Ensure You Are On The Right Track

Having goals makes life more challenging. You always want to be ahead of time as you work towards achieving them. Suppose you have your wedding in a month and you want to reduce weight. These time keeping applications will continuously remind you when it is time for exercise and when it is time for your meal. So, you will always be on the right track and not miss out anything.

3.  Helps You Plan Better

Knowing where you stand at the moment, and how much more time you have to accomplish a task such as studying for your exam, helps you plan for it better. Knowing that you have got 7 days to study for your exam and there 7 chapters in your syllabus, planning to learn 1 chapter each day will help you get done with syllabus before the exam.

4. Improves Your Daily Routine

If you have a habit of wasting a lot time, a time tracking app for android can help you create the perfect daily routine. For example, if you know that spending more than 30 minutes swimming will impact the rest of the tasks scheduled for the day eventually leaving you with incomplete work at the end, you are surely not going to be punctual.

5. It Is Easy

No wonder a time tracking software provides for an easy way to keep track of your time. It is simple to operate. No matter if you are at home or outdoors for any work, you just need to start the app when you begin the task and stop it when you end. This way you are able to record the time you spent on that activity. So you know that you need to prepare yourself more next time to be able to complete this task earlier.

Are you done with running after time? Do you want the peace of mind and more control over your life? Chrometa has the perfect time tracking software for you. Click here for a free online demo now!