Time is by far our most valuable resource, mainly because of the fact that it seems like there isn’t really so much of it to go around. There are only twenty-four hours in a day, eight of which most of us spend sleeping, so it’s important that we use the sixteen that remain in a smart and productive way. Today we want to talk about just some of the reasons why tracking your time is the best way to optimize your everyday performance – both at home and in the office – so without further ado, there they are.
1. You’ll have greater focus. If you feel like you just can’t concentrate on whatever it is that you need to do, there’s an easy way to make yourself do just that – give yourself a deadline. Set a timer and tell yourself that you only have an hour or two. Simply being aware of the clock and the fact that it is ticking away is enough to make most people cut the nonsense and just get to work. The smaller the “window of time” is, the less likely you’ll be inclined to procrastinate and the more motivated you’ll be to complete your work as quickly as possible. Try it, it really works.
2. Your estimates will be more accurate. When you spend a few weeks tracking your time on a regular basis, you get a much better feeling about how much of it you need to complete certain tasks. This can come in handy when a client needs you to do something and asks you how much time you need. Of course, you don’t need to track time to give an estimate, and rough estimates are sometimes just fine, but we assure you will be far more accurate in this respect if you do, and this makes you look a lot more like a professional to the client.
3. You’ll find out what you’re wasting time on. Have you ever been in the following situation: you start working really hard on a project, then ten minutes in you check your Facebook feed, then your Twitter feed, then you stumble upon a funny YouTube video, only to realize that almost an hour has passed and you’ve only worked for a sixth of that? By tracking time consistently, you can teach yourself exactly what is eating up your time, and chances are that you need a lot less time for the work that you’re doing than you think – if you would just know which of your habits are responsible for constantly eating up your time.
4. You’ll get better at prioritizing. Like we already said, time is a resource like any other, and not all tasks require the same amount of it – nor are they of equal importance. When you learn to balance these two against each other, you learn to prioritize in such a way that you manage to save a lot of time, while finishing as much work as you possibly can.
5. You’ll learn the real value of time. Most people don’t realize how valuable a single extra hour per day can be. There are so many things that can be done in sixty minutes that’ll make your life infinitely easier, and by tracking your time and seeing how much of it you’re potentially wasting, you’ll learn to appreciate every minute of your life all over again. So, the next time you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed for more than twenty minutes, instead of scrolling through for another twenty you’ll think of all the things you could’ve done with that time (and hopefully do them!).