Time management is a really hot topic among freelancers so in today’s video I’ll outline a few key benefits of time tracking. I use Toggl for that purpose but there are quite a few apps out there – here’s a post listing top 20 time tracking apps as well as a somewhat more detailed overview of each of them. Try several tools and choose the best to your liking.
Watch the video or read the transcript below to learn three ways how time tracking will aid your freelance success.
This video was created with a fairly easy to use tool, called Content Samurai – try it for free.
#1. Time tracking will help you build relationships and form pricing strategies.
The link between relationship building, pricing and time tracking seems farfetched, doesn’t it?
Well, it isn’t.
Time tracking is the foundation of developing accurate time estimation skills, which in turn helps you to set realistic deadlines with clients. When you submit work on time, you leave clients happy and what’s better for relationship building than a happy client, right?
The same logic applies to calculating your prices. The accuracy of your time estimation skills allows you to send proper price quotes. And those quotes will either ensure you work at a profit, or force you to work at a loss.
#2. Time tracking will help you kick bad habits and focus on important tasks.
When tracking your time with an app, you accumulate reports. There you’ll patterns how you spend your time and how to further improve.
Let me give an example.
When I first started using Toggl, I was shocked to find out that I spent almost 2 hours on Facebook every day. I didn’t realize it at the time because I didn’t browse the site for 2 consecutive hours. I had it on my bookmarks toolbar and whenever I had a few spare minutes, I clicked the bookmark and I was getting lost on Facebook. Two hours a day add up to 14 hours per week – that’s wasted time.
The minute I saw this in my reports, I removed the bookmark and stopped spending so much time on Facebook. I still do it but I’m down to two and a half hours a month.
#3. Time tracking will help you see time spending patterns and outsource the right tasks.
When tracking your time, you can spot in your reports if a certain activity is taking up too much time, when in fact it doesn’t really bring any money in your pocket.
For example, last year I noticed that I spend nearly one hour to prepare my blog post for publishing. This includes choosing contextual images, adding copy to them, inserting the blog post in WordPress, doing the onsite optimization, and finally hitting the schedule button. When I looked deeper, almost all of that time went for adding text to pictures – a task I wasn’t even good at, nor did I enjoy it.
So the decision to outsource my blog images creation was a no-brainer. Now, I have beautiful images and spend less than 15 minutes to prepare my post for publishing.
If you haven’t started tracking time yet, start now.
It’s never too late to optimize your time spending habits, improve your pricing strategies and make more clients happy 🙂