Launching and running a successful online business and publishing career depends greatly on your ability to continuously acquire and please clients and securing a healthy cash flow. Satisfied clients equal greater potential for profits and success. However, getting the client through the door, closing the sales and acquiring profitable traffic are only small pieces of the puzzle. Seeing projects through to completion and delivering on the clients expectations are key.
Unfortunately, many freelancers and businesses suffer and lack the dedication and organizational skills to follow through; leading to many frustrated and disappointed clients. Many failed projects are not necessarily from lack of skill on part of the web developer, writer or designer but due to poor time and project management skills.
Time tracking is a powerful way to gain control of your clients’ projects and can mean a world of difference as you work to standout. Also, as technology advances and we witness the rise of products like Evernote and Coggle and other design and productivity tools, we gain a better ability to produce stronger results.
Here are some powerful reasons why time tracking is one of the most important practices you can adopt in your practice.
Prevent Creative Fatigue & Burnout
Unfortunately, we’re humans and we will not always possess the energy and drive to work 24/7 passionately with enthusiasm and vigor. It’s simply not possible. There will be down time as we attempt to bang away at the keyboard to get in as much as possible.
This leads to burnout and it will do you more harm than good working excessively at any task without allotting time for breaks and leisure. Using time-tracking as a method of limiting the hours spent on creative work before taking a break or end the day will prevent your brain from crashing and burning. This keeps your mind fresh and in a healthy state for new ideas when you return.
Take note from some of history’s creative geniuses like Ludwig van Beethoven, who although worked very hard at their art, set limits on work and spent time on leisure and mental recovery. Time tracking simply helps you to know when to stop and accounts for the work completed, offering the satisfaction of accomplishment.
Time Tracking Keeps You Focused & Disciplined
There’s something special about taking a seat and hitting start on a timer as you begin your tasks. It creates a sense of urgency and purpose and you’re less likely to be distracted by the outside world and temptations to watch cat videos on YouTube.
A personal timer running in the background while you work makes you more aware of your time ticking away and accountable for it. It turns the working day into a challenge that feels like you’re disarming a time bomb set to destroy your home town. Without the anxiety and potential loss of life of course.
Tracking your work time is like having mini-deadlines, only, you don’t get fired for missing them. You simply brush yourself off and refocus. The important thing here is that you know exactly for what you’re accountable.
Develop a Killer Rhythm
For web developers and designers, developing work rhythms prove very beneficial, especially for repetitive and native tasks. Getting in the zone and working with the clock heightens your senses, blocks out the noise and keeps you on track.
As you log your time, you’re indirectly logging your workflow, revealing deeper insight into your creative process. This enables you to better identify and create work structures and models. Armed with this experience and knowledge, you discover the best practices and approach to client projects.
Time tracking is the best tactic for honing your skills and using your time efficiently as a designer, developer or business person. It’s like having a boss to keep you in check without the stresses that comes with a real live boss.
If you haven’t started yet or are doing it manually, here are 4 free time tracking apps that you can give a try and discover your unique work model:
1. Toggl – Create cool charts and discover the best use of your work time,
2. RescueTime – Find your ideal work-life balance.
3. Timesheet – Cool Android work time tracking app
4. Timely – Beautiful & powerful time and cost tracker