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Keeping track of time

For the last few years I've been using a nifty little program called gtimelog to keep track of how much time I am actually working (and in a basic way on what), and how much time I am off work, whether it is for a meal, a personal phone call, random web surfing etc.

One thing I have found is that random non-work distractions can really add up at the end of the day, and they sort of creep up at you: "It's 4pm, wow, did I really only work 1.5 hours so far? I better stay off Wikipedia and Hacker News if I want to get anything done tonight!".

I find keeping track of your time honestly makes it easier to sit down, resist distracting temptations (I.e., it's easier to see how much they really cost) and put in whatever minimum of hours you are committed to working.

Monitoring goals is a bit like flossing. You feel guilty when you go to the dentist and he asks you if you've been flossing. You say no. He says, don't worry, you only have to floss the teeth you intend to keep. Similarly, you only have to monitor goals you intend to reach.

Monitoring how I use my time not only makes it easier for me to set and reach goals, it also makes it easier to feel good about a productive work session at the end of day, when I can see I have met my goal (or exceeded it).

Of course, keeping track of time isn't enough. Working smart (I.e., leverage, efficiency) is just as important if not more important than working a lot. Ultimately, it's not how much you work, but how much you accomplish.

But as a general rule of thumb I have found the following to be true:

productivity = quality of work * quantity of work


VladGets's picture

Yaware.TimeTracker its really good program.

What the side of the page?

Digital Forest's picture

I use tool Mymemorizer - to keep time tracking. As a small business web design service provider, we need to keep track of each client's call, message & emails. So, we use this tool regularly.


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