Increasing productivity with time management
I take more time to complete a task then I was intended to, purely because I have more time in hand. Here’s how this works: I have a full week to complete a 4 hour job. I can do it in 4 hours but I will not because I have a full week to complete it. In this case, I will unintentionally stretch the work for a full week. This is my problem. I struggle to manage my time.
Time is a commodity for every business, be it service industry or a goods industry. However, the service industry runs on intangible commodities which includes knowledge and time. This makes time management all the more essential for consultants, freelancers etc.
What is the solution?
Track the time using a time management tool. A friend of mine happens to introduce it to me. This is the basic time management strategy anyone can apply in the routine.
A little background story for those who do not know what is the use of a time management tool. Bigger consultancy firms/ service firms have an in house software that keeps track of billing hours. At the end of the day, employees log in the number of hours you have worked and that goes into the pile of billable hours of the client. Here is the loophole in this system, a lot of unproductive hours are also accumulated into the pile.
Though this gives billable hours but lacks to give productive hours.
I have been using a tool for time management called Clockify. This is a free tool, so anyone can use it by simply creating a login. I use it on my laptop by going to the site and login in but they do offer a chrome extension. I am yet to use it.
What clockify offers is it has an option like a stopwatch. So you add your project/ client and start the timer as you start a work and then end the timer when you end.
How this differs and is actually helpful for entrepreneurs/ hustlers/ freelancers as we might spend 8 hours in front of our system but a lot of the time is just spent browsing from one site to another researching and also on our phone. Although we might have been sitting in front of our computer/ laptop for over 8 hours, the productive time is not actually 8 hours.
I suffered from doing the same. Mostly because we associate longer working hours with higher productivity. Initially, when I started using clockify, I was shocked to see that my productive hours were not more than 4 hours in a day. So out of my 8 hours in front of the desktop, I was just doing work for 4 hours.
How this changed my working hours is, now I know that I don’t need to be on the system for 8 hours when my work is usually just 4 hours. So what I have started doing is I make a list of tasks which are client centric to be done in a day and try to finish it in 4 hours. By doing so it gives me time to focus on other work like reading about content creation, writing notes for podcasts, reviewing work of staff etc.
The best part about clockify is that it is a personal time management tool. Of Course you can get an enterprise level by paying a monthly fee. But it is a free time management tool. So you don’t have an obligation on anyone to show how productive you are or how much you are able to do the work. You have to analyse your own productivity.
I have been using this for over a month and using clockify to keep track of my working hours along with bullet journal has made a huge impact on my overall productivity.