The Hazards Of Time Tracking
For the efficiency-obsessed there’s no lack of solutions to track and dissect precisely how the work time is spent. A time tracker can log your tasks down to the second; Excel spreadsheets can transform a diffuse log of minutes into a circle chart; and, if you are luddite, a pen and pad of graph paper work just great for it.
Time tracker is a critical need for professionals who pay by the hour, but the practice has devotees in a range of different industries and has garnered enough support to buoy a growing crop of software and services.
But are these always good for the overworked and overwhelmed? Maybe that sometimes compulsive attention we pay to the day’s vicissitudes saps our productiveness, not boosts it. Just imagine a timesheet with this senseless entry: "Time spent tracking time: one hour".
We spoke with a slate of efficiency and time management experts about the pros and contras of entering that capacious realm of time tracking.
"Why are we wasting time figuring out how much time we’re wasting?" says Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro author, speaker and efficiency mentor "People are spending far more time creating these elaborate systems than it would have taken just to do the task. You’re constantly on your app refiguring, recalculating, recategorizing."
"A better strategy would be [returning] to the core principles of good time management," Laura adds. "Block out time on your calendar for the non-negotiable things. [Or] have an organized, prioritized task list." Stack does note there are cardinal exceptions: Time-tracking apps can be a panacea for payroll professionals, or those who charge clients on an hourly basis.
For those who do decide to track their time, there should be a clear motive. Tracking anything at all saps time and attention. Without a context for why employee is tracking tasks and time, tracking is a waste of time.
Ari Meisel, author of "Less Doing, More Living", telling that time tracking can be more destructive than utility. "If you’re in the mind-set of tracking every work you’re doing, you’re actually going to be really hurting your efficiency". "That touch-in, touch-out mentality is very different from the mentality you need to do creative work, or research, or make an effective phone call" he said.
Meisel also notes those drawn to the precision of detailed audits might not be equipped to act on their findings. "The people that really want to get into the nitty-gritty of tracking time are a very different personality type than the person who will actually use that information," he said.
Instead, Meisel suggests to use automatic time tracker, the app that allows users to track only really important activities.
Really there are those solutions that make tracking automatic. The CrocoTime time tracker can lurk in a computer’s background, tracking time spent on websites and in programs without demanding information entry from the user.
The goal of CrocoTime is to allow people to get a meaning of their work time without having to do that hand entry. At the end of week or month, CrocoTime delivers an in-app or e-mail report to users, managers and company owner offering a pithy audit of their workweek.
CrocoTime Time Tracker can be a bit sterner, too, by signed distracting activities in user's toolbar. It’s a feature that dovetails with one of our beliefs: That we’re already keenly aware of how we squander the day. People always know what they do to waste time. If you know you spend inordinate amounts of time on Facebook, don’t go on Facebook.
Today CrocoTime is approved by more than 500 of customers ranging from small companies to enterprises of different spheres of business: production companies, project companies, trading, and service companies have been using CrocoTime to become more productive and efficient.
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