If you’ve been around here long, you know I’m a big fan of efficiency. I don’t like wasting my time or yours, so today, we’re jumping right into it.
But first, answer me this: How many hours do you work each week?
As entrepreneurs who feel like the work never ends and that there’s always something more we could be doing, it’s easy to get sucked into working around the clock. Always trying to do more and multitasking trying to do everything at once. I know I’ve been guilty of this in the past, but the longer I’m in business, the more I realize this isn’t the way to build a sustainable business that brings time and financial freedom for the long run.
Think back to the number of hours you said you work each week. Do you actually know the number, or was it just a guess? Many of us say that we work 50, 60, 70+ hours per week, but studies have shown that when we guestimate how many hours we work, we almost always overestimate.
We live in a world that loves busy and multitasking and makes it easy to tie our worth to our hustle and the number of hours we put in each week. It’s no wonder we subconsciously raise that number in our minds to make ourselves feel a little better about how hard we’re working. But if we’re overestimating the amount of time we spend working each week, where on earth is all of our time going?
Your time is your most valuable resource – even more valuable than money. Money can always be replaced, and it’s always coming and going, but we have a finite and unknown amount of time available to us. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. As a bookkeeper, I’m a big advocate of being a steward of your finances: knowing where your money comes from and where it goes, and making smart decisions about how you use it. I believe just as strongly in being a steward of your time. It’s so important to make sure you’re using this precious resource wisely. And I’ll let you in on a little secret…when you know where your time is going, it also helps you make better decisions about your money, and ultimately make more of it.
When you know where you’re time is going, you can make informed decisions about what you say “yes” or “no” to, you’ll know exactly how long each task in your business take you, and you can price your offers accordingly. This is why it’s so important to track your time.
Many of my clients, especially the creatives, are hesitant at first about all this time tracking business. It can feel a little restricting and tedious in the beginning, but all of my clients who have gotten serious about tracking their time find that it makes them work much more efficiently, and ultimately brings them more freedom in their lives and businesses. You see, when you record where you spend your time, it eliminates multitasking and helps you to focus on one task at a time. In the same way that keeping a food journal helps people who are trying to lose weight get better, faster results, when you track your time, it makes you more efficient and helps you free up more time in the long run.
There are many different tools out there that make time tracking simple. Personally, my team and I use ClockShark, and Harvest is another great option to get started with time tracking for free. You could also use a simple spreadsheet, or even pen and paper to track your time. The important thing is that you choose a time tracking method and stick to it. Try tracking your time for 2 weeks, and I promise you’ll get some eye-opening insights to the way you spend time in your business.
What method will you use to start tracking your time?
Check out these other resources to help you track your time and run your business more efficiently: