The issue of productivity needs to be attended to right away. As humans, we have been created to be productive. Our brains produce ideas and solve problems to make life better, our reproductive organs even produce offspring, and all parts of the body produce one thing or the other, with the brain being central, making a human being, the perfect description of what productivity is.
However, we need to understand how to make the most of the resources embedded in us. At the very core of productivity, is time tracking and management, and this will be discussed in details. Aristotle, the great philosopher, defined time as a number of changes with respect to the before and after. However, it seems to be more complex than this. In relation to time, productivity is simply getting the most desired result in the shortest or most realistic amount of time.
Why time tracking is important
A random interview was conducted, and an audience was asked questions relating to the most difficult everyday challenge faced, not enough time was a common complaint, and not just that, it was among the chief complaints. Most of them could not give a detailed account of how their time went. Here are few reasons you should consider time tracking
- It serves as a practical way of assessing how productive your day, week, month, or year has been. Every standard business, organisation, or facility has bookkeeping or data records for this very purpose. While the process may seem tedious, there are ways to go about it to ensure it is a lot worth it. Through this, you become able to account for every hour spent on a particular activity. The very best is brought out of employees through this method because they become more motivated.
- It helps you to plan effectively. It was also noticed that majority of the people in the audience did not have their activities planned out in time blocks. Hence, just any activity could come up and eat up the whole time. A main objective of time tracking is that you become more efficient, and your performance increases exponentially. For example, a lot of people say they are most productive in the morning. Quite a number say they prefer midnight. Only a few peaks in the afternoon. Knowing where you fall into helps you to make the necessary adjustments.
- It gives you some degree of control over your life. This translates into happiness because it helps you properly strategize on doing the things you love to do the most. The best way to be productive is to enjoy what you do, and time tracking gives you this leverage. Family, friends, business, and health all demand time, and the idea is to maintain a fine balance in all these areas. Here, you are able to allocate more time to the things you have prioritized.
- It saves money. You must have heard countless times that time is money. Proper time tracking leads to more productivity, and one of the ways this manifests is in profit margins. This kind of efficiency attracts clients from everywhere. Also, most people are willing to pay more for a service that will save their time. Time tracking provides a baseline of what is expected of yourself or employees. This way, you save money spent on hiring someone who is not competent.
The relationship between time tracking and productivity
The relationship is best explained as a positive feedback situation. An efficient time tracking leads to more productivity, and more productivity in turn, leads to an even more efficient time tracking.
Time is like a centralized currency, where each minute or hour means the same everywhere. Everyone gets the same number of hours a day, but the difference lies in your time tracking ability. Time tracking is a subjective way of assessing your day because it is based on your memory and what you consider important. Time tracking has proven to be directly proportional to productivity.
One of the major ways productivity is measured is through the time spent to get the result. Conversely, one of the ways time is measured is on how productive one is. This is done by using milestones many times. For example, in many cases, you can guess around the age of a company by some of the feats it has achieved.
How to go about it
- The ultimate time tracker is your brain. Your level of awareness is dependent on what your interests are. For example, an hour spent on your favourite hobby seems different from one spent on mere day dreaming. Therefore, an increased level of awareness of your present situation will help you track time better. A good way to do this is by going the old-fashioned way of writing things down. It has proven to be more effective than some time tracker app if done in the proper way. The only disadvantage is if you lose the paper or book. If you own a company, you may decide to use a spreadsheet to record the total hours spent on a particular activity. A project manager may be employed for this purpose.
- You need to balance what is called your biological time with the public or general time. The biologic time is basically the body’s own internal clock or circadian rhythm. As time is fast running in the outside world, it is also going inside, but with different manifestations. Our bodies become tired, bored, hungry, etc. This means to become more productive, the activities you do should coincide with the body’s optimum condition. Less sleep does not guarantee more productivity. The same could be said about long hours of work. A balanced diet, a good sleep hygiene, frequent exercise, will go a long way in increasing your productivity.
- Avoid multitasking. This will only serve to create distraction enough for you to lose track of your original plan, thereby defeating the whole purpose. You may think that multitasking helps you to get more things done in less time, but it is better to focus on one thing. Imagine how effective it will be employing someone who is proficient in a particular task, and also employing someone the best at another thing. This way, you play to the strengths of your employees.
- Environmental modifications. This can be done to assist your awareness and orientation in time and place. For example, alarm systems to wake you up every morning, calendars, flashcards, clocks, etc. Anything that facilitates your compliance to a particular course should be put in place.
- An essential ingredient to productivity is happiness. One of the ways people become happy is when they have the time to do all that they ever want to do. To a large extent, this is possible with proper time tracking. Also, doing the things you love always produces better results than doing things you have no passion for.
- Learn from experts. At the end of the day, there is no perfect formula for time tracking or one size that fits all. However, listening to a few experts on your subject field will give you an idea on what to work on. You can do this by reading books, watching videos, or listening to podcasts.
Time tracking should be considered a lifestyle. This way, it does not come off as being challenging. Habits done repeatedly overtime, sink into the unconscious, and at such, are done out of reflex. Time tracking should be employed whenever the opportunity shows up.
The success or failure of a project is dependent on the quality of efforts put into time tracking and productivity. The benefits of adopting this approach far outweigh the cons and this goes a long way in getting the best out of yourself, others, and an overall system.