Boost productivity through time tracking business

May 22, 2024 by Natalie Brewer
Boost productivity through time tracking business

We’re not talking about travelling through time but similar to how events work around Doctor Who, time tracking can give the illusion of expanding time. Sounds a bit woo woo? Time tracking is actually founded in science and can be very beneficial to business owners and indeed, the whole business team.  Keen to find out more?  Read on!

What is time tracking?

In its simplest form, time tracking is using an app or spreadsheet to accurately measure the amount of time spent on an activity. By analysing time spent, a business can charge an appropriate fee, can determine areas of high and low productivity, and from this formulate training or process changes. 

Ways to track time

Time tracking either takes time (ironically!) or money, but all three suggested ways have their benefits

1. The traditional way – paper timesheets

Make a table and include date, day, time start, time finish then simply add up the hours spent. Great for one-off tracking, this is a simple and (almost) free solution, however, if you want to refer back to the data, you’ll need to find a way to safely store the paper.

2. Tradition Plus – Excel timesheets

Again, create a table and log the start and finish time of tasks or projects. Automatically calculate time spent and store the data online for easy reference. Excel is a standard package on most systems but is open to abuse or simply forgetting to track time spent.  

3. Automated support – time tracking software

A dedicated tracking tool automatically tracks time spent on a task and can be linked to other tools such as invoicing and productivity reports. The downside to this method is the cost – and if you are likely to be interrupted regularly, the software may not track this accurately.

5 key benefits of time tracking

There are numerous benefits to tracking your time. Here are just 8 that may support your business and boost your growth.

1. Increase focus

You are much more likely to concentrate on one task at a time if you are tracking time. It is so easy to be tempted to ‘just answer that email’ or respond to a request even if you are in the middle of a task! When tracking time, you focus and complete a task faster, making you much more efficient.

2. Boost profitability

When you clearly understand the amount of time spent on a task, your quotations and invoicing will more accurately reflect the time taken.  If you track the time of your team members, you are able to see if there is

an issue with underperformance – which allows you to investigate further – or identify where employees are delivering more than expected, allowing you to recognise this and potentially offer further progression within the business. 

3. Identify ‘time eating’ tasks 

Some tasks are hidden but they take up a considerable amount of time and are often not considered to be a ‘deliverable’. Examples include: work phone calls, chat messages, and team video calls, informal in-office meetings, tea break conversations, or administrative tasks like printing. Time tracking allows you to discover these hidden tasks and factor them into your quotations and project plans.

4. Helps with time management and prioritisation

When you know that your time is being tracked, it focuses the mind and helps you to prioritise the most important tasks. You can clearly see when you are at your most efficient so you can do the most important (or hardest!) jobs at this point in time, whilst you have lots of energy. 

5. Make data-driven decisions

Time tracking data can help you make informed decisions on various aspects of the business. Some tasks, for example, will deliver a low return on time invested: could you eliminate, outsource or automate them?  Other tasks need to be completed at a specific time: can you match these tasks to the employee whose productivity peaks when they need to be done?  There may be other examples that suit your business.

How the flexible Hour Hands EA team can support your business

When you track your time, you will discover that some tasks, whilst beneficial, just take more time than is beneficial. Outsourcing these tasks may deliver a cost/benefit to your business – especially when they are outsourced to an experienced team of Personal Assistants and bookkeepers.

Hour Hands was established for this very reason – to support time poor entrepreneurs and to deliver the skill sets your business needs.  The whole team is ready to support you with those urgent and important tasks that you just don’t have the time to complete. From booking travel, to managing your diary, completing your accounts and tax returns, managing projects to creating filing systems – we will complete tasks and shift them off your to-do list!

And our support is flexible – brilliant for ongoing support and perfect for a one-off project or resolving a particular issue. 

To find out more simply visit our website or call us on 01727 818262. We will ask how we can support you and offer a solution either on an hourly rate or package cost. The choice is yours – we simply want to help.