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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Slack time tracking that’s 100% automatic thanks to Chrometa?
Thanks to our always-talented CTO Chihab, the answer is now: “Yes.”
You can now connect your Chrometa account up with Slack time tracking, which will let our time tracker “see” and capture the time your spending in various Slack channels. It’s a one-click setup – just set it up once, and you’re good to go.
Slack Time Tracking Example
And More Time Tracking Integrations
Here’s are more systems for practice management, accounting, and billing that you can now integrate Chrometa with as well:
Right. We developed a “VoIP app” that will help you capture your phone calls and text messages directly from your iPhone and sync them up with your Chrometa account as time entries.
And we’ve already released three new versions of the app since we spoke last a few weeks back. Thanks to feature requests from astute iPhone users who have lended a hand with suggestions.
If you’re an iPhone user, and you haven’t had a chance to take our new iOS app for a spin, here it is again:
1:1 Timekeeping Training
Our expert trainer Lori is off in New Orleans this week living up life at Clio’s Cloud Conference. She’ll be back next week, and available to help you with your Chrometa training questions. (Make sure you talk really loud on the call to help with any lingering French Quarter headaches!)
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 has long been the bane of lawyers, yet this tiresome task is essential in ensuring you’re getting the money you’re owed. Unfortunately, traditional time recording is riddled with inaccuracies and challenges, which means you could be shorting yourself.
Just how much? Studies believe it could be as much as a third of your deserved funds.
If you’re no stranger to pen and paper record keeping, you already know what a cumbersome, confusing process time tracking can be. Between reading and answering emails, making phone calls, and checking voicemail, there’s no shortage of small tasks that quickly add up to billable hours. Yet many law firms are missing these prime opportunities for billing because they have no easy way of tracking the amount of time spent on these quick (yet constant) actions.
Sure, there have been timekeeping helpers to come along, including timer software you can install on your computer. But given that you need to click a button each time you start and stop a task, these are generally no more useful than a stopwatch.
That’s why many lawyers are turning to time tracking apps, like Chrometa. It’s quiet, unobtrusive, accurate, and best of all, is helping lawyers build their profits with zero extra work.
How Does a Lawyer Time Tracking App Work?
Before computers (and in some cases, even now), law firms had to dedicate time to manually recorded the time spent on actions. However, documenting the value and actions that make up your legal services in five-minute bursts is nothing short of exasperating. In fact, you may find that this method means you’re spending nearly as much time on time recording as you are on helping your clients.
It’s no way to run a successful law firm, which is why many lawyers estimate their time spent on tasks and bill according to their best guesses. This is certainly a preferable method compared to the time suck of the fine tooth comb, yet it presents another, more costly challenge: missed billable hours, and lots of them.
Timekeeping apps like Chrometa eliminate some of the billing conundrum by tracking and logging easily overlooked activities so you don’t have to. Their secret lies in automation:
You install the app on your desktop computer (Mac or PC) or smartphone (iPhone or Android).
The app tracks how much time you spend on certain tasks, including reading and replying to emails, making phone calls, conducting research, and other small yet significant tasks.
The app also integrates with other systems, including QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks, and more to broaden your time tracking abilities and reduce manual entry.
As a result, you get a compiled report detailing how much time you spent on certain tasks. You may find that you’re doing far more work than you’ve been billing for, which can help you increase your profits without any extra effort on your part.
How Reliable are Timekeeping Apps?
There’s no shortage of timekeeping software on the market, but they’re not all created equal. Despite their technological foundation, some require you to manually activate and deactivate the timer each time, thus encroaching on your natural workflow and posing no better than a pen and paper.
Others will log your activities but cannot differentiate tasks between clients; rather, you’ll get an overview of how much time you spend on email, phone calls, and research, and it will be up to you to assign that time to individual clients. And some apps don’t communicate across devices, adding another layer of complexity to your timekeeping tasks.
Chrometa, in particular, relies on client-linked keywords to determine which tasks are associated with specific clients. Instead of compiling a one-dimensional listing of time spent on tasks, the app separates the actions into phones and emails per client to give you a more accurate representation of your workload. In addition, Chrometa offers full synchronization across platforms and devices to give you a seamless experience no matter how you choose to work.
Chrometa eliminates the potential for human error, giving you an accurate representation of how you spend your time.
What Other Benefits Do Time Tracking Apps Provide?
Aside from the obvious financial benefits, Chrometa gives you insight not just into your own client work, but also the productivity throughout your law firm. If you’ve ever been curious as to how much time your office team is spending helping clients, a timekeeping app can take out the guesswork.
Even if an employee spends 10 minutes a day on social media or checking personal email at work, that’s over 2,000 minutes per year, or more than an entire 40-hour work week. Multiply that by the number of people at your law firm, and you can easily see the value of using every minute wisely.
When you understand how you and your team are using your time, you’re better positioned to improve your service to your clients. In addition, when you are being paid accurately, the increase in revenue can also help strengthen your service, whether it’s upgrading technology or being able to afford better talent for your team.
Yes, a timekeeping app can be that powerful.
Lawyer time tracking shouldn’t be complicated, nor should you have to spend as much time trying to get paid as you spend helping your clients. However, changing the way something has always been done can seem scary, even if there’s promise of a larger reward.
If that’s how you feel, start small. Take a time tracking app for a test drive before you commit to revamping your entire recording system. Chrometa offers a free 30-day trial to let you test its features and discover how you and your team are using office hours.
Most attorneys make their money by billing “by the hour,” but keeping an accurate record of your billable work often proves cumbersome. Instead, most attorney timekeeping is based on guesses or averages, often to the favor of the client. As a result, attorneys and other professionals typically only bill for about 67% of the work they do, losing nearly a third of their potential income to poor timekeeping.
That said, it may come as no surprise that many attorneys are shorting themselves when it comes to billing the appropriate number of hours, especially if you rely on a manual timekeeping system. Having multiple clients only complicates your records, leading to a higher possibility for inaccuracy.
If you’ve struggled with timekeeping in the past, you’ll be glad to know there’s an easier way. Timekeeping apps, like Chrometa, were designed with attorneys and other professionals in mind, and has forever changed time recording as you know it.
How a Timekeeping App Works
Changing the way you’ve always done something can be overwhelming, stressful, and sometimes downright scary. To make matters worse, there’s an abundance of technology that promises to simplify tasks and save time, yet often only complicate your existing methods and falls short of your expectations.
Timekeeping apps actually do what they’re promised. For example, here’s how Chrometa works:
Users can install Chrometa on their PC, Mac, iPhone or Android phone.
The app is triggered each time you send an email, make a phone call, or work on your computer
While you work, the app runs in the background counting every second you spend on tasks, including reading emails, making notes, performing research, and more.
Chrometa compiles its findings into an easy-to-read report, breaking down how much time you spent on specific tasks (email, phone calls, etc). The report integrates seamlessly across multiple devices so you won’t miss a minute of productivity.
Attorney Timekeeping Pitfalls You Can Avoid
Despite the existence of automated restaurants, driverless cars, and wireless everything, many attorneys still largely rely on Excel sheets and paper records to keep track of their time on client work. True, manual timekeeping does have its benefits, like easy preparation or quick accessibility, but those benefits come at a cost – nearly a third of your potential income, according to timekeeping studies. What could you do with a 33% raise?
Using a timekeeping app offers plenty of benefits that far outweigh any costs. As a result, you can avoid several common pitfalls of time recording errors:
Having multiple clients is great for your firm, but also increases your risk for timekeeping errors. The APA estimates that companies without automated timekeeping system see up to an 8% human error rate on payroll. To put this in perspective, a client case worth $10,000 would be short up to $800. Multiply this by the number of clients you see in a year, and this quickly amounts to a serious financial loss.
Automating simple tasks like calculating billable hours can help you spend less time doing things that aren’t contributing to your bottom line. It might not seem like much, but logging your time spent on tasks for each client translates into valuable minutes each day that could be better used.
In addition, using paper records leaves them vulnerable to spills, smudges, and other accidents that may require additional time fixing. Even if you spend a total of 10 minutes every week preparing each record, you could be wasting hours.
Poor Employee Productivity
Passive timekeeping isn’t just for your own benefit. If you have a team of paralegals or other office staff, it’s an easy way to gauge how they’re utilizing their time on the clock. Even a mere five minutes of “wasted” time each day can add up to over 6,000 minutes (or 105 hours) each year per employee.
While you may not mind employees checking their personal email or glancing at social media during the workday, monitoring their time can help you identify potential areas for improvement. For instance, you’ll see if your team is missing deadlines due to work-related activities or if they’re spending more time on their personal agendas.
In addition, passive timekeeping can further help you bill your clients accurately based on the work your team is doing. Even if you’re an expert at documenting your time, your team may struggle with this task and could affect your earning potential.
The Benefits of Passive Timekeeping are Priceless
Aside from avoiding the downsides of manual timekeeping, passive timekeeping offers a multitude of benefits that translate into better results, both for you and your clients:
More Time for Tasks that Matter
Unlike time clocks and manual recording, there’s no action required from you to initiate recording. Everything is done automatically to give you one less thing to worry about, so you can focus more on your clients and less on the clock.
Low Cost for Peace of Mind
Chrometa offers a risk-free 30-day trial to let you test-drive the app before you commit. This gives you time to understand how it works and gauge its accuracy to see how it truly benefits your accounting practices. You can cancel at any time during the trial if it doesn’t live up to your expectations, and will cost you nothing. If you find you can’t live without it, you can get started for as little at $20 a month.
When you can eliminate stress and mundane tasks from your plate, you are better positioned to provide your clients with the best service possible, and it won’t go unnoticed.
There’s no doubt that attorney timekeeping is riddled with areas for improvement, especially when it comes to ensuring you are paid as much as you should be owed. When you can take the guesswork out of timekeeping, you can rest easy knowing you’re getting paid for your services. You may find that your pen-and-paper method is costing you more than you might have thought – the only way to know for sure is to discover it for yourself.
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